How the Kelce brothers stack up against other championship siblings
Super Bowl LVII will pit the No. 1 seeds from the AFC and NFC against each other. It also pits what might be the league’s best brothers against each other.
Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce will get to face his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12. It will be the first Super Bowl to have a pair of brothers go head-to-head, and it’s already being dubbed the “Kelce Bowl.”
The Chiefs’ Kelce might have put it best on how the family is feeling entering the game.
“Cool scenario to be in. My mom can’t lose. I’ll just leave it at that,” Travis Kelce said following the Chiefs’ win in the AFC Championship Game over the Cincinnati Bengals. “It’s going to be an amazing feeling playing against him, and obviously, I respect everybody over there in the Eagles organization.”
Travis Kelce added that he won’t be “talking too much trash” ahead of and during the game because of the respect he has for his brother. Meanwhile, Jason Kelce set the tone for the matchup moments after the Chiefs won Sunday evening.
“Officially done being a Chiefs fan this season!!” the elder Kelce tweeted Sunday.
While the Kelce brothers already appear to be having fun making history at the Super Bowl, they aren’t the first set of siblings to go head-to-head against each other for a championship.
Here are some other notable siblings that faced off each other for a title.
Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams
Arguably the two greatest women’s tennis players ever, the Williams sisters were no strangers to each other on the court.
The siblings faced off 31 times in singles matches, with Serena winning 19 of them. Nine of those 31 matches came in the final of a Grand Slam tournament. Serena won seven of them. They met in the final at Wimbledon four times, with Serena coming away with the championship in three of those instances. In 2008, Venus beat Serena in the Wimbledon final. A couple of months later, Serena got her revenge in the quarterfinals at the US Open, beating her sister in a two-set thriller that required tiebreaks in each set, winning 7–6(6), 7–6(7).
The sisters played on the same side though much of their careers, too. They won 22 doubles titles together, including 14 Grand Slam titles and three Olympic gold medals.
Steph Curry vs. Seth Curry
Arguably three of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history hail from the same family.
The sons of legendary sharpshooter Dell Curry went head-to-head in the 2019 Western Conference finals. Steph Curry‘s Warriors bullied his younger brother’s Trail Blazers squad, winning the final three games of the series by coming back from double-digit deficits in each game en route to a sweep.
Steph averaged 36.5 points per game in that series while shooting 42.6% from 3-point range. Seth, who was a role player for the Blazers, scored 6.3 points per game while making 37.5% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Aaron Nola vs. Austin Nola
Sibling history was also recently made in MLB baseball.
In the 2022 NLCS between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres, pitcher Aaron Nola and catcher Austin Nola became the first two siblings to face each other in MLB postseason history.
The brothers directly went head-to-head in Game 2. With Aaron on the mound for the Phillies, Austin grounded out in the first at-bat between the two brothers in the second inning. Three innings later, Austin got payback against his younger brother, hitting an RBI single that started a rally for the Padres that helped them win Game 2.
Nola’s RBI single against his younger brother led to a funny moment with their dad, A.J. Nola, who didn’t know how to celebrate the moment.
Aaron got the last laugh though as his Phillies squad won the final three games of the series to take the NL pennant.
John Harbaugh vs. Jim Harbaugh
Before there was the Kelce Bowl, there was the Har-bowl.
John Harbaugh’s Ravens squad finally broke through in their third AFC Championship Game appearance over his first five seasons as their head coach in 2012. His younger brother, Jim, was waiting for him in the Super Bowl, though, as he won the NFC in just his second season as the 49ers’ head coach.
The elder Harbaugh got off to a good start with the Ravens holding a 28-6 lead over the second half. But when the power went out in the Super Bowl, the younger Harbaugh plotted his comeback. The 49ers made it a 31-29 game with 9:57 remaining but missed the 2-point conversion that would have tied it. Harbaugh’s 49ers had one more chance to win the game while trailing 34-29, but came up short.
Dominant NFL brothers
Not only are they going head-to-head in Super Bowl LVII, but Travis and Jason Kelce are also arguably the best players at their respective positions in recent memory.
Travis Kelce became the second all-time leader in playoff receiving yards (1,467) and playoff receiving touchdowns (15), trailing just Jerry Rice in both categories.
On the flip side, Jason Kelce has been named a first-team All-Pro five times over his career. He is a mainstay for the Eagles as he looks to win his second Super Bowl.
Here are some other dominant NFL siblings.
J.J. and T.J. Watt
Arguably two of the best pass rushers since the turn of the century, the Watt brothers have racked up accolades over the years.
J.J. became the second player to win three Defensive Player of the Year awards in NFL history in 2015 after winning the award in 2012 and 2014. Watt recorded 20.5 sacks in two of those three seasons. The NFL legend called it a career after 12 seasons in 2022, finishing with 114.5 career sacks and 27 forced fumbles as he’ll likely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
T.J. has had a similar rise to that of his older brother. After being selected in the back half of the first round by the Steelers in 2017, Watt emerged as one of the game’s best pass rushers by 2019. In 2021, he won the Defensive Player of the Year award when he tied Michael Strahan’s record for most sacks in a single season (22.5), making the Watt brothers the first pair of siblings to win the award.
Ronde and Tiki Barber
The identical twins had identically great NFL careers.
Ronde was one of the best safeties in the NFL in the first decade of the 21st century. He earned five All-Pro nods (three first-team) over his 16-year career. A year after leading the league with 10 interceptions in 2001, Barber played a pivotal role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ quest to win Super Bowl XXXVII. He recorded a 92-yard pick-six in the NFC title game in what was a dominant performance for him as he added four deflected passes.
Tiki’s career was a bit short, but the running back still enjoyed a highly-effective 10-year career. Barber actually peaked in the final three seasons of his career as the former New York Giant earned all three of his Pro Bowl nods during that stretch. He rushed for 1,860 yards on 5.2 yards per carry in 2005 as he finished his career with 10,449 rushing yards, making him one of 31 players in NFL history to reach 10,000 rushing yards.
Sterling and Shannon Sharpe
The Sharpe brothers dominated the receiving game in the 1990s.
Sterling Sharpe was a force for the Green Bay Packers, earning three first-team All-Pro and five Pro Bowl nods over his seven-year career. He led the league in receptions three times, recording a career-high 112 in 1993. He also led the league in receiving touchdowns twice, recording a career-high 18 receiving touchdowns in 1994, which was his final season as he retired early due to neck injuries.
Shannon Sharpe was one of the greatest tight ends of all time, though that wasn’t his original position. After struggling at receiver in his first two seasons in the league, the Broncos converted Sharpe from receiver to tight end, a move that propelled Sharpe’s career and the Broncos. He helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998, earning a first-team All-Pro nod in each season. He earned five total All-Pro nods and eight Pro Bowl nods over the course of his 14-year career, adding a third Super Bowl title with the Ravens in 2000.
At the time of his retirement, Sharpe was the all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) among tight ends.
Peyton and Eli Manning
This list obviously wouldn’t be complete without the Manning brothers.
Peyton was one of the most decorated quarterbacks in NFL history, winning a record five MVPs and two Super Bowl titles. He also holds the single-season records for passing touchdowns (55) and passing yards (5,477), setting both of them in the Denver Broncos’ memorable 2013 campaign. He actually set the single-season touchdown record with the Indianapolis Colts in 2004 prior to that, as he finished third all-time in passing touchdowns (539) and passing yards (71,940).
Eli wasn’t as dominant as his older brother, but he certainly had his highlights. He led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles, including in 2007 when he took down the 18-0 New England Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. He beat New England again in the Super Bowl in 2011, throwing for 296 yards and a touchdown to earn his second Super Bowl MVP. Manning finished his 16-year career with four Pro Bowls, too.
The Manning brothers have also been dominant in their post-playing days. They’ve won NFL fans over with the popular “Manningcast” and will coach against each other in the 2023 Pro Bowl, leading to some funny moments.
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