If you’re so fortunate to have brothers or sisters, we all have our fair share of stories stemming from our long-embattled sibling rivalries. Sure, there are heart-warming moments that bring us back down to Earth, but friendly jabs and competitions between one another strengthens those bonds for life.
In the NFL, there is one sibling rivalry that dominates all others: the three Watt brothers. From J.J. to Derek to T.J., these three are Wisconsin-bred beasts, love supporting each other, and even have their own Watt Brothers bobblehead to prove it. All are standouts at their respective positions, and with each playing in the same conference, their inevitable collision course is going to be a treat for NFL fans for years to come.
The Oldest: J.J. Watt
You can’t talk about the Watt brothers without starting with the oldest. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is arguably the most dominant defensive player in the NFL and has been since he entered the league as the 11th overall pick in 2011. Through 100 games, Watt racked up 87.5 sacks, pacing him for the most sacks per game in NFL history. He already holds the Texans franchise record for sacks, forced fumbles and tackles for a loss, and figures to set a few more along the way.
The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is more than an all-time talent at defensive end for the Texans, too.
The philanthropic player raised a mind-blowing amount of aid following Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas, and he loves playing big brother when it comes to his younger siblings.
J.J. even came to his younger brother’s defense after T.J. was fined an absolutely head-scratching $20,000 fine for a low hit on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the 2018 season.
He might be the oldest of the bunch and leading the charge, but Justin James Watt’s two younger brothers are coming for him in a hurry.
J.J. Watt’s Brothers
The Youngest: T.J. Watt
The youngest of the brothers, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, is setting the tone for the rest of his career in just his third NFL season. Watt, who was a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, totaled 20.0 sacks and seven forced fumbles in his first 31 NFL games. The second-team All-American in college football became one of the league’s top outside linebackers starting with his rookie season.
Think little brother is content just watching his older brother J.J. rewrite NFL history? Think again. T.J. is busy chasing J.J., and his massive legacy, down.
The Middle Child: Derek Watt
Not to be outdone, the middle Watt is the most unheralded of all the brothers. While he’s not known for forced fumbles and NFL sacks, the only offensive Watt’s silent impact definitely doesn’t go unnoticed by his brothers.
Since former Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt entered the league in 2016 as a sixth-round pick, he helped lead the way for his teammate at Wisconsin, running back Melvin Gordon, to over 4,000 rushing yards and 36 rushing touchdowns.
While he doesn’t put up numbers like his brothers, Derek Watt is one of the most underrated football players in the NFL. Derek faced big brother J.J. for the first time in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season and now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers with brother T.J.
The Watt’s are all University of Wisconsin Badgers, they’re all elite-level NFL players, and they all happen to have the character and charisma of an NFL superstar.
Connie and John Watt raised three incredible kids in Waukesha, Wisconsin to become ambassadors for their sport and hometown Pewaukee High School, and with all of them shining in the NFL, we’re going to get plenty of candid moments from this trio for many years to come, like this hilarious Gatorade “Beat the Heat” series.
There is no bromance quite like the Watt family, and this NFL trio is on pace to all play, and deserve to eventually be selected, on the same team in a Pro Bowl before their careers are done.
On The Field Together
With all three Watt brothers now in the AFC, and two of them on the same NFL team, a matchup featuring all of them playing in the same game seemed inevitable. Although the COVID-19 outbreak this offseason almost put that dream on hold, it is coming true on CBS.
On September 27, 2020, the Watts reunited at Heinz Field before the Steelers hosted the Texans.
“Started in the backyard,” J.J Watt, the First-Team All-Pro Texans star, wrote on Instagram.
Since 1927, a trio of brothers has played in a game just once, according to ESPN. The Edmund brothers — Tremaine, Terrell and Trey — did so last season.
There’s no doubt this is a Super Bowl and Hall of Fame moment for the Watt family.
This post was originally published November 8, 2018.