Top sibling matchups to watch in the 2021 NFL season


Family feuds are commonplace in the NFL. And no, we’re not talking about ones with Steve Harvey.

Football has a way of bringing family together. Whether it’s in the living room, in the bleachers or on the sidelines, the National Football League has a long-standing history of family moments. The Belichicks and Shanahans, for instance, have established a coaching lineage. Antoine Winfield Jr., Patrick Surtain II, and Jaycee Horn, meanwhile, are stepping in the footsteps of their fathers. Bradley and Nick Chubb, Matt Ryan and Mike McGlinchey, and Marshawn Lynch and JaMarcus Russell have even brought cousin bonds to the league.

The brotherhood of football can become quite literal inside the lines. J.J., T.J. and Derek Watt, for instance, have taken the field in the same game. Nick and Joey Bosa squared off for the first time since becoming pros during a preseason contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers on Aug. 22. Looking beyond current players, Peyton and Eli Manning, Ronde and Tiki Barber, and Shannon and Sterling Sharpe also provided premier sibling showdowns.

The 2021 NFL season is set to feature several brotherly battles, including a division rivalry and some inter-conference matchups. Here are the NFL brothers who will battle one another during the league’s first 17-game campaign:

Devin McCourty vs. Jason McCourty, Week 1 and Week 18

Devin and Jason McCourty may share a Twitter account, but they will no longer share a defensive backfield.

The McCourty brothers spent three seasons together as teammates with the New England Patriots, even winning Super Bowl 53 as part of Bill Belichick’s dominant secondary. Jason signed a one-year deal with another AFC East team, the Miami Dolphins, in May, giving him two matchups with his brother this coming season. Devin, meanwhile, is entering his 12th season in New England.

The Dolphins open their season in Foxboro at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sept. 12 and end the regular season by hosting the Patriots at 1 p.m. on Jan. 9 in a Week 18 contest that could have significant playoff implications.

Trey and Terrell Edmunds vs. Tremaine Edmunds, Week 1

T.J. and Derek Watt aren’t the only pair of brothers on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Trey and Terrell Edmunds have been teammates in the Steel City for three seasons. Unlike the Watts, though, they will get to play against another brother during the 2021 season.

Tremaine, the youngest of the Edmunds trio, has been with the Buffalo Bills since being drafted in 2018. While Tremaine has been outnumbered in each of his previous two matchups against Trey and Terrell, he is undefeated in his career against the Steelers. He collected 13 tackles across the two wins, one coming in 2019 and the other in 2020.

Trey and Terrell will have their shot at revenge when the Steelers travel to Buffalo for a 1 p.m. ET season opener on Sept. 12.

Equanimeous St. Brown vs Amon-Ra St. Brown, Week 2

Equanimeous and Amon-Ra have created an unexpected division rivalry within the St. Brown family.

Former USC wide receiver Amon-Ra was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He joins his brother Equanimeous as the second in the family to be drafted. 

Equanimeous, the oldest child in the family, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2018. After failing to make the 53-man roster for the 2021 season, Equanimeous was signed to the practice squad. 

He was elevated to the active roster ahead of the Week 2 Packers-Lions matchup and will take the field against his younger brother for the first time on Monday Night Football.

Travis Kelce vs. Jason Kelce, Week 4

The Kelces are another family with two Super Bowl winners. The elder Jason won Super Bowl 52 with the Philadelphia Eagles, while the younger Travis won Super Bowl 54 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

While the charismatic Kelce brothers have rings, only one has a victory in a head-to-head matchup. Travis emerged victorious in the previous matchup, collecting 103 yards and a touchdown to help lift his Chiefs over Jason’s Eagles in Week 2 of the 2017 season at Arrowhead Stadium. For the cherry on top, Travis even paid homage to Terrell Owens with his TD celebration.

Travis and Jason’s next matchup comes at Lincoln Financial Field when the Birds host the two-time defending AFC champions at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 3.

Shaquem Griffin vs. Shaquill Griffin, Week 6

After spending three years as teammates with the Seattle Seahawks, Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin will square off in a Sunshine State showdown in their first season on different squads.

Shaquill signed a major three-year, $44.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. The idea of going to Florida must have stuck with Shaquem, who then signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins.

While both Griffins packed their bags for Florida, their first NFL head-to-head matchup will take place in London. The Jags will “host” the Fins at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at 9:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 17.

Kyle Fuller vs. Kendall Fuller, Week 8

Kyle Fuller has been in the NFL since 2014, spending his first seven years with the Chicago Bears. His younger brother, Kendall, has been in the league since 2016, playing three seasons with the Washington Football Team and two with the Chiefs. Somehow, though, the 2021 season will offer them the chance for just their second career NFL matchup.

While Kendall’s Washington team played Kyle’s Bears on Christmas Eve in 2016, Kyle missed the full season due to a knee injury. The two cornerbacks finally faced off in December of 2019 at Soldier Field, and Kendall’s Chiefs suffocated Kyle’s Bears in a 26-3 win.

Now with the Broncos, Kyle will have his chance to even the series with his brother in Week 8. Kendall’s Washington squad will head to the Mile High City for a 4:25 p.m. ET matchup on Halloween.

Nick Martin vs. Zack Martin, Week 12

The Martin brothers, both offensive linemen, have played against each other in an NFL regular season game once before. Nick emerged victorious with the Houston Texans beating the Dallas Cowboys 19-16 in October of 2018.

After spending the first four seasons of his career in Houston, Nick inked a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. Zack, on the other hand, has been with the Cowboys his entire career, earning four NFL All-Pro selections since entering the league in 2014.

The second career head-to-head matchup should be a special one for the whole Martin family. Zack’s Cowboys welcome Nick’s Raiders to Dallas for a Thanksgiving matchup with kickoff set for 4:30 p.m. ET.

Mychal Kendricks vs. Eric Kendricks, Week 12

The Kendricks’ head-to-head contests have leaned heavily in favor of the older brother. Mychal’s teams have beaten Eric’s Minnesota Vikings in all three of their matchups so far in their career. Mychal won with the Eagles in 2016 and won with the Seahawks in 2018 and 2019.

Mychal joined the 49ers in August to provide the team some depth at linebacker. The move comes less than a month after he was sentenced to one day in jail, three years of probation, and 300 hours of community service last month after he pleaded guilty to insider trading. Mychal previously spent six seasons with the Eagles and two seasons with the Seahawks before playing one game with the Washington Football Team in 2020. Eric, meanwhile, is about to embark on his seventh season with the Vikings.

Eric will look to defeat Mychal for the first time when the Vikings visit the 49ers at 4:25 p.m. ET on Nov. 28.

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