The four-team NFL divisions open up the possibilities for teams to play each other with regularity and that can lead to some dominant teams to get the better of head-to-head rivalries for a long period of time.
We have listed four of the longest winning streaks by one team over anotherm before showing the longest active streak that has a chance of finishing further up the list in the future.
- Miami Dolphins over Buffalo Bills – 20 games – 1970-1980
The longest winning streak over a single opponent took place across the entirety of the 1970’s with Miami Dolphins, who were one of the dominant teams of that decade, having the number of their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills.
Miami won all 20 meetings between the two teams in the AFC East, starting in 1970 and running until September 1980. The Bills’ first win over the Dolphins after that 20-game losing streak saw wild scenes in which the home fans rushed the field and tore down one of the goalposts.
Miami won two Super Bowls throughout the time of this domination of their rivals.
- Washington Redskins over Detroit Lions – 18 games – 1968-1997
One of the longest chronological winning streaks comes between the Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins, with Washington winning all 18 games between the two from 1968 until 1997.
The Lions eventually stopped the run in December 1999 with a 33-17 victory over their opponents.
Washington were Super Bowl champions three times across the run, in 1982, 1987 and 1991.
- San Francisco 49ers over Los Angeles/St Louis Rams – 17 games – 1990-1999
The San Francisco 49ers dominated their rivals the Los Angeles Rams during the 1990s, winning 17 straight games across the decade to consistently get the better of their opponents.
The Rams moved to St Louis in 1995 but that did not stop the rivalry or the 49ers domination, San Francisco went from 1990 until October 1999 winning every single one of their games against the Rams.
The battle between the two teams has intensified since the Rams’ 2016 relocation back to Los Angeles.
- New England Patriots over Buffalo Bills – 15 games – 2003-2011
The Buffalo Bills have often been at the wrong end of their dominant AFC East rivals and it was no different against the New England Patriots of the early 2000’s.
Under Bill Belicheck and with Tom Brady in his prime, the Pats won 15 straight games from 2003 until 2011 against their divisional rivals, also taking two Super Bowl titles across this time period as they established themselves as one of the dominant teams in the NFL.
- New England Patriots over New York Jets – 14 games – 2015-present
The New England Patriots have had plenty of periods of domination over their division rival New York Jets in recent years and are currently experiencing another, racking up a 14-game win streak over their opponents in recent years.
The Jets last won a head-to-head in December 2015 and the Pats won both close games in the 2022 season, 10-3 and 22-17.
New York will be hoping to reverse the trend in the 2023 season and turn the tide over their longtime rivals.