NFL's Best Rivalries
Seahawks-49ers is quickly becoming one of the best rivalries in the NFL. The NFC West adversaries are mirror images -- young QBs, constricting defenses, power run games -- but the heart of this rivalry lies with the coaches, who have been beefing since their days in the Pac-10.
The Jets lead the overall series 49-44-1, but lost to the Dolphins in the 1982 AFC Championship Game. The arrival of Dan Marino pushed the rivalry to its peak in the 1980s.
After San Francisco won four Super Bowls in the 1980s, the two teams battled for NFC supremacy in the 1990s, meeting in three straight NFC Championship games.
Defensive battles define this AFC North rivalry. The Ravens and Steelers have met 12 times since 2008 (twice in the postseason) and the intensity and vitriol never waiver. "You know, when we go down to Heinz Field and you see the towels," Baltimore's Terrell Suggs said, "and you see the colors, you know you're in a fight."
From 1972 through '76 the Raiders and Steelers met in the playoffs each year, three times for the chance to go the Super Bowl. The rivalry included Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" and a trial for slander after Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll accused Oakland of harboring a "criminal element."
In a matchup between the 49ers' Montana-led offense and the Giants' imposing defense, the teams played nine times between 1981 and '88, including three playoff games.
This rivalry may be past its prime now that Peyton Manning has left Indy for Denver. But Tom Brady and Manning battled for NFL supremacy several times from 2000-'09, winning four Super Bowls and seven AFC championships combined.
The divisional rivals have shared bad blood and coaches -- Mike Shanahan coached Oakland for four games in 1989 -- since they began playing in the AFL in 1960.
With both teams playing in the same division since 1933, the rivalry is full of animosity: Chuck Bednarik blindsided Frank Gifford in 1960, sending Gifford into an 18-month retirement.
The two franchises have combined for eight Super Bowl wins and 28 division titles. Dallas leads the all-time series 62-42-2, but Washington has won both playoff matchups.