REUTERS

Why Cam Newton And Russell Wilson Will Be The NFL's Next Greatest Rivalry

By

The retirement of Peyton Manning earlier this year also comes the loss of one of the league's true gems: his rivalry against Tom Brady.

Sure, the New England quarterback's career is still alive and kicking, but we no longer have the luxury of looking forward to the prospect of Brady entering yet another epic battle for AFC supremacy against Manning.

Clearly, the NFL needs to fill a void.

Luckily for fans, there's another luxury sitting on the other side of the NFL playoff bracket that could satisfy us for years to come.

This fact was impossible to ignore as fans sang happy birthday to one of the league's best talents.

Cam Newton's birthday serves as an eye-popping reminder: The Carolina Panthers quarterback is only 27, which means he has a realistic chance establishing his own era of dominance over the NFL for a long, long time.

To do that, though, he'll likely have to overcome the obstacle of the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson, who -- oh, by the way -- is also only 27.

Both quarterbacks are so young it's difficult to not salivate over the prospect of them going head-to-head in the NFC for the next decade-plus -- the same way Brady and Manning did for so long.

After all, the impeccable timing for a smooth passing of the torch is in place.

Right as Tom and Peyton were fighting their last ever battle, during January's AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Broncos, Cam and Russ had just spent the previous round engaging in their second playoff tussle.

Now, both young quarterbacks are accustomed to playing each other in the postseason.

Right as Wilson and the Seahawks had notched two consecutive Super Bowl appearances -- against Manning's Broncos and Brady's Patriots, no less -- Newton led the Panthers to an ascension into the NFL's elite and straight into a Super Bowl appearance of their own.

Now, both young quarterbacks have great supporting casts.

Right as Newton was on his way to sealing an MVP campaign during the 2015 season, Russell Wilson was right behind him. The Seahawks quarterback put together a late-season hot streak that made him Newton's equal throughout the second half of season.

NFL Network

Now, it's clear both young quarterbacks have finally made the leap to an elite level.

But while Russell and Cam are perfect candidates to fill the Brady-Manning void, the fact both young quarterbacks just happen to be really, really good at around the same age is about the only similarity.

Other than that, you can expect less of the same. This new rivalry will be younger, more athletic and faster because that's exactly what Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are.

Those qualities are what makes the next Seahawks vs. Panthers matchup, slated for Week 13 of the 2016 NFL season, worthy of a no. 1 ranking in an Awful Announcing's list of best primetime games.

And with both Newton and Wilson still in their 20s, it probably won't be the last time they get one of those rankings, either.