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Old 05-30-2006, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default Biggest rivalries next season

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9462572/1

Sorry, Carson; Bengals-Steelers ain't Pats-Colts, yet

May 26, 2006
By Clark Judge
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

So Carson Palmer hates the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, he should. Pittsburgh beat the Bengals last year in the only game that mattered.

People are trying to figure out what could've motivated Palmer to say what he did in this week's Sports Illustrated, but where's the mystery? Emotions usually spill over when you have two teams that are good, competitive and in each other's way.

The hit that sparked a rivalry? Carson Palmer sure thinks so. (Getty Images)
History doesn't hurt, either, though the Bengals haven't been good for long. Pittsburgh has, and now Cincinnati ... or Carson Palmer ... wants a piece of the action. So he says he hates the Steelers. Big deal. So does everyone else chasing them.

Now my question is this: Is Pittsburgh-Cincinnati this year's best rivalry? Not here it's not. But it's close.

When I'm talking rivalries, I want teams that loathe each other; not simply games involving star players. And I want something at stake -- like a division title or a playoff spot. Which means I want a Big Game.

That eliminates something like, say, Oakland-Kansas City. Or Miami and the New York Jets. Or Green Bay-Chicago. Hey, I love watching Brett Favre too, but not when he's throwing 29 interceptions and chasing defensive backs.

No, I want teams that are competitive and teams that play for something other than draft positions. I want teams like ... well, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Which is why Palmer got me thinking of what rivalries I anticipate most this season.

These are my top five:

1. Indianapolis-New England
When the Colts moved out of the AFC East, they thought they put the Patriots in their rearview mirror. Uh-huh, Richard Hatch thought he was clear of the IRS, too. Since the NFL realigned in 2002, the Colts and Patriots have met five times -- with Indianapolis finally breaking through last year with a victory in Foxborough. The Colts didn't just shake off that 800-pound gorilla; they pinned him with a 40-21 rout of the then-defending Super Bowl champions. That was supposed to be the breakthrough, but wouldn't you know it? They get to play the Patriots again ... and again it's in Foxborough, site of their last four games with New England. So here we go again with Peyton against Bill, Adam against the wind and Indy against the odds. Hallelujah.

2. Dallas-Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Eagles don't talk about Terrell Owens. In fact, Donovan McNabb never mentioned his name at the team's minicamp. But you better believe he's on their minds. The two first meet Oct. 8 in Philadelphia, and no, I wouldn't want to be working security at the hotel where the Cowboys stay the night before. Owens is not liked by the Eagles, but he's positively abhorred by dyspeptic fans who insist he sabotaged their club. This is liable to get ugly, and I'm not talking about what happens on the field. This may be the first time we may have to cover the parking lot. A year ago the good people of Philadelphia burned Owens in effigy and tossed No. 81 jerseys into a bonfire ... and he wasn't even playing. I can't imagine what they do for an encore, but I'll be watching.

3. Cincinnati-Pittsburgh
Now we have a rivalry. The Bengals made sure of it last year when they zoomed to the top of the division, won in Pittsburgh and wide receiver Chad Johnson compared the Steelers to a black and white TV. Then the playoffs arrived, and, suddenly, the division is in black and white. Again. Now Palmer goes off on the Steelers, and so what? I'd feel that way, too, if I just lost a playoff game where my knee was twisted into a pretzel. "Carson Palmer only beat us one time," linebacker Larry Foote told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "so he should hate us." Exactly. But Carson Palmer is not the issue here; the Bengals' front seven is. In three of Pittsburgh's last four defeats of Cincinnati, the Steelers had someone run for at least 123 yards. So you hate the Steelers? Then hire someone who can tackle.

4. Denver-Kansas City
Fans would choose Oakland-Kansas City as the better rivalry; players would point to this game. So would I, and here's why: While Raiders-Chiefs games always seem to be separated by the thinnest of margins, the Raiders haven't won one since 2002. That's six straight and seven of the last eight. Plus, they're 13-35 the past three seasons. The Silver and Black is more like the Silver, Black and Blue, and no thanks. But Kansas City-Denver ... now, there's a pairing that's unpredictable -- unless, of course, you're talking about someone winning on the road. The Broncos lost six of their last seven at Arrowhead Stadium, while the Chiefs lost their last five in Denver. I love symmetry, and this series has it. Dating back to 1992, Kansas City has 15 wins. Denver has 14.

5. Any NFC East game other than Philadelphia-Dallas
There's a reason Dallas owner Jerry Jones insisted on staying in the NFC East when the league went through realignment: He wasn't about to surrender some of the best rivalries in the game. You have Dallas and Washington. Dallas and the Giants. Philadelphia and New York. The Giants and Washington. Washington and Philadelphia. OK, I admit it: Picking a group instead of one game is the coward's way out, but I had no choice. For the life of me, I couldn't single out one game in this division other than the Barnum and Bailey act in Philly. That one was a gimme. The rest? They're too close to call because there is no division out there this year that has the depth, balance and quality of the NFC East. And did I mention the interest? There are 10 prime-time games this year involving NFC East teams; 11 if you include the 5 p.m. Philadelphia at Dallas game on Christmas Day.

Honorable Mention:
Miami-New England

OK, so the Dolphins have had trouble reaching the surface lately. But look what they've done with the Patriots. The past two years they split with them, an achievement considering Miami didn't reach the playoffs, and are 4-6 since the Patriots moved into the AFC East attic. This game always seems to have something: a snow plow here; a drop kick there. Now it has Nick Saban vs. Bill Belichick, which means if you like defense you'll love this game. Belichick used to consult his former assistant in the offseason for advice; now he's forced to outwit him. Chess, anyone? A year ago, the AFC East was New England and the Three Dwarfs. Not anymore. In Daunte Culpepper the Dolphins are armed and dangerous for the first time since Dan Marino's retirement. More important, they're on New England's heels.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Bigges NFL rivalry next season?

Al Davis vs. Art Shell.
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Steelers vs. the entire NFL....... Now we have what everyone wants! We wear the title belt, come and get it........if you can!
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Nice article. I think we pretty much have a target on our backs for every game this upcoming season. Looking forward to the Steelers/bungles match ups.
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

It would be nice if these reporters got some of the facts straight - he says it will be "Indy against the odds" again this year - when in fact Indy hs been the favorite just about every time we have played.

Also enjoyed the hilarious over-reaction to the Colts beating the severly undermanned Patriots in Foxboro - i'd like to see them do that if we were able to put out just half our starters on Defense.

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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 05-31-2006, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattsMe
Bigges NFL rivalry next season?

Al Davis vs. Art Shell.
I'm going with TO v. Tuna
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Old 05-31-2006, 06:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
I'm going with TO v. Tuna
or T.O. vs Drew Bledsoe. I can see it now Bledsoe miss fires a pass to T.O. and T.O. will blow up on the sideline. Kind of like what he did to McNabb when we bitch slapped the Eagles all over Heinz Field during the 2004 season.
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Old 05-31-2006, 06:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Colts vs. Patriots?Come on,Manning chokes in the playoffs no matter the opponent.

Steelers-Browns are much more storied and the teams hate each other,just not the fans (or in the Colts-Pats the Colts fans just hating the Pats).Joey Porter knocked Willie Green's teeth into the back of his mouth before a game in 2004.There is hatred between the teams.Turkey Jones piledriving Terry Bradshaw into the turf.None of that shit happens when the Patriots play the Colts.

Other rivalries that are MUCH better:

Steelers-Ravens (Ravens are "new",but they are the old Browns and they took the Browns rivalry away for three years.We hate them as much,if not more,than the Browns.)

Cowboys-Redskins (Old school rivalry,I love watching when these two teams hook up.I root for a tie because I hate them both.)

Raiders-Chiefs (Another old school one,these teams hate each other and always get up to play each other.The game last year in KC was just electric.You could tell the Raiders get up for KC because they sucked last year and KC's offense shoulda blown em out,but it came down to a last-second gut check by Vermiel and he won it.)

Raiders-Chargers (Inter-state rivalries are some of the best.SD and Oaktown aren't that far apart and both teams used to reside in LA.There are Charger fans in Oakland and Raider fans in SD.Fights ensue before,during,and after games when these two teams play.)

Raiders-Broncos (So many times the division has come down to which one of these teams beats the other,the games are always intense.Romo played for both teams.These games are almost always fun to watch.)

Bears-Packers (Lovie Smith made it clear when he was introduced as head coach of the Bears,thier goal was to bear Green Bay.)

Vikings-Packers (Not far apart and they hate each other,especially the fans.Moss "mooned" the crowd after a TD versus the Packers.)

I'd rather watch any of the above games than Indy-New England.And if an NFC East team is playing an NFC East team,you damn sure I am tuning in,that division hates each other.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

youd rather watch the packers/vikings over indy/colts??????? next season

i only watch a denver or oakland game if its the only thing on and ill pass on watching a cowboys game just about any time if theres any other ball game on (try living in the southwest where that cowboys crap has been forcefed since the 70's.

bears/ packers could be interresting if the bears werent the automatic losing team most of the time (ill admitt brett farve is fun to watch but so is manning)
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Biggest rivalries next season

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer
Colts vs. Patriots?Come on,Manning chokes in the playoffs no matter the opponent.

Steelers-Browns are much more storied and the teams hate each other,just not the fans (or in the Colts-Pats the Colts fans just hating the Pats).Joey Porter knocked Willie Green's teeth into the back of his mouth before a game in 2004.There is hatred between the teams.Turkey Jones piledriving Terry Bradshaw into the turf.None of that shit happens when the Patriots play the Colts.

Other rivalries that are MUCH better:

Steelers-Ravens (Ravens are "new",but they are the old Browns and they took the Browns rivalry away for three years.We hate them as much,if not more,than the Browns.)

Cowboys-Redskins (Old school rivalry,I love watching when these two teams hook up.I root for a tie because I hate them both.)

Raiders-Chiefs (Another old school one,these teams hate each other and always get up to play each other.The game last year in KC was just electric.You could tell the Raiders get up for KC because they sucked last year and KC's offense shoulda blown em out,but it came down to a last-second gut check by Vermiel and he won it.)

Raiders-Chargers (Inter-state rivalries are some of the best.SD and Oaktown aren't that far apart and both teams used to reside in LA.There are Charger fans in Oakland and Raider fans in SD.Fights ensue before,during,and after games when these two teams play.)

Raiders-Broncos (So many times the division has come down to which one of these teams beats the other,the games are always intense.Romo played for both teams.These games are almost always fun to watch.)

Bears-Packers (Lovie Smith made it clear when he was introduced as head coach of the Bears,thier goal was to bear Green Bay.)

Vikings-Packers (Not far apart and they hate each other,especially the fans.Moss "mooned" the crowd after a TD versus the Packers.)

I'd rather watch any of the above games than Indy-New England.And if an NFC East team is playing an NFC East team,you damn sure I am tuning in,that division hates each other.
Part of the criteria for his 'best rivals' rankings were based on the fact that both teams had to be contenders.

Nearly every match up you have picked has at least one team that has had very little recent success in the playoffs.

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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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