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 tackle 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 Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt entered the league in 2016 as a sixth-round pick, he’s helped lead the way for his teammate at Wisconsin, running back Melvin Gordon, to nearly 3,000 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns.
While he doesn’t put up numbers like his brothers, the Derek Watt is one of the most underrated football players in the NFL. With a chance to finally prove himself, Derek faces big brother J.J. for the first time in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.
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.
J.J. hasn’t had the treat of facing his brothers as of 2018, but Derek Watt’s Chargers managed to knock off T.J. Watt’s Steelers, 33-30, on December 2 that year. With all three teams potentially landing in the AFC playoffs, and another matchup between Watt brothers looming, you can guarantee they’ll be hoping to get a shot at each other wearing full pads.
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.
This post was originally published November 8, 2018.