Is Bengals vs. Chiefs the NFL's Biggest Rivalry?


February 3

The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals have met four times over the last 14 months, and many are wondering if this is now the NFL’s best rivalry.

Before this season’s AFC Championship Game, Joe Burrow and the Bengals had registered three straight victories over the Chiefs. With one good ankle, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs responded with a 23-20 win and were crowned AFC Champions heading into Super Bowl LVII. 

There are plenty of good rivalries around the NFL, but the stakes between the Bengals and Chiefs have elevated the matchup. These elite franchises should also continue trending that way. With two of the best quarterbacks leading the way, it’s difficult to see either team not contending for at least the next half-decade. 

The Chiefs and Bengals have combined to play in the last three Super Bowls. Of course, there are other competitive AFC teams, but the Chiefs and Bengals are proving to be threats each year. They each have a recipe for winning games and January and February, helping create this budding rivalry. When these teams have faced off in those four games, all have been decided by three points, showing how tightly contested they are. Kansas City and Cincinnati have done an excellent job of bringing the best out of one another, 

If you want to compare some of the NFL’s other great rivalries, none are generating the buzz that the Chiefs and Bengals are right now. One that has to be mentioned in the same breath is the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, but we’ll need to see some extended success from these rivals to put them alongside the Chiefs-Bengals. Dallas and Philadelphia playing in the same division helps, but the stakes haven’t been as high. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens used to have more steam than it does, but relevance matters and they haven’t been elite teams of late. 

This rivalry won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had a similar rivalry to the one we’re seeing with Mahomes and Burrows, which speaks to the league’s overall health. There will always be arguments like these, but it’s hard to say that the Bengals and Chiefs aren’t staking their claim as the NFL’s best rivalry.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Picked For You