In a league like the NFL, profits are king. Because of that, it’s not surprising that each year we see changes and tweaks intended to boost competition, extend the schedule, and market the league to a broader audience. Things like the 49ers playing in London, the idea of an 18 game schedule, and the flexible prime-time schedule are all intended to boost revenue. But to me, the biggest tool the NFL has had in raising revenue is a good quarterback rivalry. In a league and sport that is already quarterback driven, it’s no wonder that the best games each year typically involve the big name quarterbacks going toe-to-toe.
Since 2003, the NFL’s most anticipated matchups have been between the Colts and Patriots. Manning versus Brady is the NFL’s version of the Yankees versus the Red Sox, and it sure does draw big audiences. It’s no coincidence that the Colts and Patriots have met in the regular season annually since 2003. That’s seven straight years of regular season meetings, and when you throw in all the playoff battles, they’re practically in the same division!
Jump for the big question!
My question is this: With both Peyton Manning (34) and Tom Brady (33) approaching the twilight of their careers, what will be the next great quarterback rivalry in the NFL? First, which two QBs do you THINK will become rivals and second, which two QBs would you most WANT to see as rivals? Also, do you think there is a chance of maybe two rivalries, one in the NFC and one in the AFC?
I think it would be pretty cool to see the Packers and Niners rekindle that old rivalry, with Rodgers vs. Smith. It could also be pretty cool to see a Smith vs. Leinart rivalry. Not so sure either of these will happen, but the groundwork for a Rodgers vs. Smith rivalry is there, as we played them in Green Bay last year and travel there again this year. If we can take that game, and if both the Packers and 49ers meet in the playoffs, we could be looking at a new quarterback rivalry. Of course this would mean Smith has to become an above average quarterback in the process.