Dec 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Brandon Williams (86) fights with New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) during the first quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Williams was ejected from the game due to the fight. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The NFC South has long been one of the most evenly matched divisions in the NFL. While the rivalries might not get the same national attention as the “classic” ones, like Steelers and Ravens, there’s no doubt that the games themselves are among the NFL’s most heated.
Divisional games. There are six of them each season, and they are circled on every single NFL team’s calendar.
They are of critical importance, not just for deciding who will come out on top, but also when it comes to tie-breakers and other nuances of the league. The added pressure means extra effort, more intensity, and more passion, combined with the familiarity of facing each team twice a year.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that emotions run high and the pressure cooker can sometimes lead teams to explode.
These are some of the intangible reasons that divisional games are the most fun to watch in the NFL, without even going into the histories of each rivalry.
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When it comes to the NFC South, the Saints face three opponents, each despicable in their own way: the Atlanta Falcons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Carolina Panthers.
Year in and year out, the division winner changes, but the hatred always remains.
So the question has been asked recently by ESPN and several other sites that cover the team: who are the Saints’ biggest rivals, as the NFC South has evolved over the years since the League created the division back in 2002?
The answers vary depending on who you ask; so tonight we’re asking the question more succinctly and from a slightly different perspective: who are REALLY the Saints’ biggest NFC South rivals?
Read on to see how we rank the rivalries with division opponents, and please take note: This ranking is heavily influenced by the last few seasons, but it still takes complete account of history as well.
So with that, these guys are up first…..
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