Rank 'Em: NFL Rivalries

Created: October 30, 2007, 4:57 PM

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have matched up well throughout the years.

Football's greatest rivalries often define the tenor of an era and the direction of a league. Who can think of football in the mid-90's without picturing Steve Young and Jerry Rice facing off against Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin? Football seems to be at its best when two titans face off.

In the same way, this decade's version of the Colts and Patriots may follow in the tradition of these great rivalries--two teams, evenly matched on paper, battling it out in games often more-hyped than the actual Super Bowl. Though their rivalry has not yet run its course, it's clear the two teams have already produced some of the most dramatic games in NFL history.

Where do they rank among the great contests? Give us your opinion!

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  • 1970-1983: Dallas got the upper hand during this time frame with 5 NFC championships and 2 Super Bowls to Washington's 3 conference championships and 1 Super Bowl.
  • 1972-77: From 1974-76, the AFC championship game was simply a stage for the Raiders and Steelers to show off their disdain for one another. Pittsburgh won the first two years and Oakland responded with a 24-7 win in 1976 on their way to a Super Bowl XI victory.
  • 1983-90: The 49ers were on their way to a third straight Super Bowl victory in 1990 when the Giants stopped them dead in the their tracks in the NFC championship game, winning 15-13 on five field goals, including a last-second game-winner.
  • 1992-95: In a sort of passing of the torch, the Cowboys became the team of the 90s with consecutive AFC championship wins over the 49ers in 1992 and 1993 on their way to back-to-back Super Bowl victories. The Niners recaptured some of their 80s magic the following year, going through the Cowboys on their way to a win in Super Bowl XXIX.
  • 2001-Present: The Colts and Patriots have distanced themselves from the rest of the NFL to the point that a Week 9 matchup is generating Super Bowl-like buzz. With the Colts finally living up to their billing and winning a Super Bowl last year, this rivalry is only going to get better.