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Revisiting the 'best rivalry' debate

12/7/2010

I have one word for AFC East blogger Tim Graham: Checkmate.

Last week we debated which rivalry was better between the New York Jets and New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. I told Graham that the Jets-Patriots matchup was built mostly on hype, while the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is legit and built on substance.

After watching Sunday night's AFC North classic and Monday night's AFC East snooze-fest, I rest my case.

The Steelers and Ravens put on another hard-hitting game that saw a star quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) suffer a broken nose but pull off a 13-10, come-from-behind victory that came down to the last drive. Meanwhile, the Patriots obliterated the Jets 45-3 in a lopsided game that was never competitive.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore had everything you'd want in a rivalry game. New England and New York had nothing you’d want in a rivalry game. It would have been nice if the Jets at least cared enough to show up for their "special rivalry" with the Patriots. Perhaps the Jets didn't get Graham's memo.

Now that all four teams played in Week 13, the proof is on the field. If Graham still believes Monday's pathetic showing by the AFC East makes for the NFL's best rivalry, then I have to seriously question his football knowledge -- and his sanity.

Score another victory for the AFC North blog.