Are the Saints & Buccaneers Currently the Most Heated Rivalry in the NFL
In the NFL and sports in general one thing that makes them special is the fact that there are rivalries. The fact that a team can have heated play against another team or a player with another player adds a new level of intrigue to the game or match.
Some of the greatest rivalries include Ohio State vs Michigan, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, the Red Sox vs the Yankees, Duke vs North Carolina, the Steelers vs the Bengals, the Giants vs the Cowboys, the Packers vs the Bears, and the Saints vs the Falcons.
However as time passes some classic rivalries fade, but new ones are made. In the NFL there are some amazing active rivalries. But what is the best or most heated current NFL rivalry?
In my opinion, there are three rivalries that have become the best/most heated rivalries in the NFL. The crown is up for grabs between these three: the Bills vs the Chiefs, Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick, and the Saints vs the Buccaneers.
For me when it comes to what makes a great rivalry, it is that both sides have to see each other as a rival. Whether they outwardly admit it or passively aggressively admit it. There also needs to be some sort of bad blood involved because that makes the rivalry more of a beef and I'm a big hip hop fan and there's nothing better than beef. And finally, there needs to be great play involved.
With the Bills and Chiefs, I feel there are two of those but not all three. The Bills see the Chiefs as rivals but it's not two-sided. The Chiefs view the Bills as a difficult opponent but not necessarily a rival. That's what eliminates it for me as the best current rivalry but it's right there and to be honest, if Buffalo beats the Chiefs in the playoffs then it will instantly become the best. Because the spice from last year's coin toss in the playoffs makes the match-up have history. Then you add the two best young quarterbacks in the NFL and you have a new age Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning with Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have the most spice of the three. The coach and player duo won numerous championships together but when they broke up it became who could win without the other. And Tom won first. That cemented that there will always be some spice between these two until Coach Belichick wins. However, as the years progress the rivalry is slowly losing its muster and that's why it can't be number 1. But the fact remains that we will always question who was the cause of the Patriots' success. And it doesn't hurt that they each throw little passive-aggressive comments about the other out into the universe.
Now finally we are left with the Saints and the Buccaneers. This rivalry has all three qualities. There have been great games between the two teams, both teams view each other as rivals, and finally, there is so much SPICE that Popeyes can use the spice between the two as the seasoning for their chicken for multiple years.
I know you may be thinking well the Buccaneers won the playoff game that mattered during the Brady era. However, the Bucs can't get over how many times the Saints beat them in the regular season. So much so that it was a goal of Tom Brady's to beat the Saints this year. So even though the Saints didn't win the playoff game in 2020 the Bucs still view the Saints as a rival.
(Before the Bucs win last Sunday)
Now as for the spice and intensity, it is there. This team has fought twice in the past 5 years. Marshon Lattimore and Mike Evans have gone at it. So much so that Mike Evans landed two separate cheap shots on Lattimore that it caused a fight to break out. And after the last matchup linebacker, Devin White was so upset with the Saints that he was calling Jameis out and really downing him after a win. The bad blood is there between the Saints and the Bucs there's no doubt about it and it is easily the most heated/best current rivalry.
Like I stated earlier if the Bills beat the Chiefs this year in the playoffs then it will jump to number one but until then it's the Saints and the Buccaneers. Both teams circle the dates that they play each other and the Bucs took game 1 this season so you best believe that the Saints are looking forward to game 2.