With the 2019 NFL regular season quickly approaching, now is a great time to look at some of the most intriguing AFC rivalry matchups on this season’s upcoming docket. Whether you like rivalries that are almost as old as the game itself or you’re enamored with some of today’s more modern rivalries. you’re in luck as I preview the top six rivalry games on the 2019 schedule. Be sure to check out the NFL odds for the upcoming season before placing your bets!
Biggest AFC Rivalry Games in the 2019 NFL Calendar
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Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (Week 11)
The Chiefs and Chargers both went a stellar 12-4 last season, but Kansas City managed to reach the AFC Championship game while L.A. got a raw deal in getting a tie-breaker that landed them in the wild card round despite posting a better record than every team in the AFC except Kansas City.
Anyway, these two longtime AFC West rivals split their two regular season meetings a year ago with Kansas City recording a 38-28 road win over the Bolts in Week 1 while Philip Rivers and company got their revenge by beating the Chiefs 29-28 in a nationally-televised Thursday night affair in Week 15. After battling in Week 11, these two will stage what could be an even more important meeting when they battle in Week 17.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (Week 7)
Houston went 11-5 to win the AFC South by one game over Indianapolis last season. However, it was the Colts that surprised in a big way last season as quarterback Andrew Luck returned after missing the entire 2017 campaign and Indy took off in Year 1 under new head coach Frank Reich. While the Texans managed to claim the division crown, Indianapolis bested them twice in three meetings while knocking the Texans out of the postseason by recording a convincing 21-7 win in the wild card round, in Houston no less. The Texans will be looking for a small measure of revenge and they could get it, seeing as how the road team won all three meetings between these rivals a year ago. The pair meet again in Houston in Week 12.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (Week 1)
The Steelers and Patriots might not reside in the same division, but they’ve been two of the top contenders to win the AFC title for a handful of seasons now. Not only that, but these two perennial AFC Super Bowl favorites have met five times over the last four seasons, including the 2017 AFC Championship game that the Patriots easily won 36-17. While this series is tied at 16 wins apiece, New England has pretty much owned Pittsburgh during the Tom Brady era. Pittsburgh is just 4-11 against New England since Brady took over as the Patriots starting quarterback way back in 2001. New England had won five straight – until losing to Pittsburgh 17-10 in Week 15 last season. The two will go at it right from the outset when the Steelers open their 2019 campaign in Foxborough.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 5)
Thanks to a powerful defense and some eye-opening play from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson late in the regular season, Baltimore beat out Pittsburgh for the AFC North division title in 2018 to snap the Steelers’ two-year reign. The Ravens and Steelers split their two regular season meetings a year ago with Baltimore recording a 26-14 road win in Week 4 and Pittsburgh winning 23-16 in Baltimore in Week 9. While the Steelers had won three straight until losing to Baltimore in their first meetings last season, the Ravens hold a narrow 7-5 edge over the last dozen meetings. You can expect another knock-down, drag-out brawl when these two longtime rivals meet in Week 5 – and again – in their regular season finale.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (Week 11)
Baker Mayfield and the revamped Browns host Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in what looks like a highly intriguing Week 11 matchup against their longtime AFC North division rivals. Last season, Cleveland recorded a 21-21 tie at home against Pittsburgh in Week 1 before getting spanked by their longtime division rivals 33-18 in Week 8 in Pittsburgh. While Pittsburgh has won six of the last seven meetings, Cleveland is looking to take another step forward in 2019 after nearly reaching .500 in 2018. While the Browns have failed to record a winning record every season since going 10-6 back in 2007, Cleveland will be going all-out in this contest in order to deliver a message that they are indeed, legitimate playoff contenders in 2019. I’m expecting this Week 11 matchup to be an all-out street brawl – before the pair play two weeks later at Heinz Field in Week 13.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (Week 14)
While the Chiefs and Patriots don’t reside in the same division, the conference rivalry between the two teams is definitely in full bloom with these two Super Bowl hopefuls having met at least once in each of the last four seasons and five times in the last six seasons overall. New England has won two straight and three of the last four meetings overall, but the Patriots’ margin of victory has been a field goal or less in each of the last two meetings, including New England’s controversial 37-31 overtime win in last season’s AFC Championship game.