(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

With a new season of New England Patriots football underway, it’s time to talk about Patriots rivals, both past and present.


I have to get this disclaimer out of the way first. I am not a football fan. Therefore, by extension, I am not a Patriots fan. I do not follow or support the NFL. Read Steve Almond’s Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto and you’ll understand why. Or, you know, just pay attention to how the league handles issues like player safety and domestic violence. It’s enough to make your head spin.


That being said, I believe my lack of fandom and investment puts me in a unique position of neutrality. I have no horse in the race, so to speak, so I can talk about the Patriots without bias. And even though I’m not a fan of the team, I certainly pay attention to what they’re doing. And have since the heady days of the early 2000s and Tom Brady and multiple Super Bowls. I’m on the radio, after all.


Patriots Rivals: Which NFL Team Tops Your List?

So here’s the angle I find interesting: Patriots rivalries. The NFL is still relatively young compared to, say, MLB. Rivalries in baseball stretch out for over a century. Red Sox and Yankees, obviously. Cubs and Cardinals. This is not the case in the NFL, but teams certainly do have rivalries. And what’s fascinating is that some of them are long-term and some of them are short-term.


That’s what I want to get into with this week’s 12-Inch Poll. The Patriots have division rivals, conference rivals, Super Bowl rivals, and just plain bad blood with a number of teams in the league. So which rival is the biggest, as you see it? Take a look at the teams I’ve laid out below and cast your vote. Feel free to hit up ROCK 92.9’s Facebook or Twitter and yell at me about it, too.

  • Buffalo Bills

    I figured we’d start with the team’s division rivals. And, given how well the Bills have been in recent years, their rivalry with New England feels like more of an actual rivalry nowadays.

  • New York Jets

    I said this on the air the day Aaron Rodgers was ruled out for the season: Tom Brady has the opportunity to do the funniest thing in the history of the National Football League. It’s a longshot, sure. But boy, would that stoke the Pats-Jets rivalry.

  • Miami Dolphins

    Arguably the division rival with the most history? I’m thinking back to “Squish The Fish!” in the playoffs for the ’85 season. I had the sweatshirt!

  • New York Giants

    The New York Football Giants beat the New England Patriots in two Super Bowls over a four-year span, during the height of Tom Brady’s super powers and the team’s dynasty run. This should be the top vote-getter, no?

  • Philadelphia Eagles

    Does meeting a team in the Super Bowl twice make them an automatic rival? It should. Pats won in ’04, lost in ’17.

  • Los Angeles Rams

    Does meeting a team in the Super Bowl twice make them an automatic rival? It should. Wow. Deja vu.

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