Steelers Game to Feature 3 Brothers For 2nd Time in 2 Years


Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images J.J. Watt (left) and his brother Derek Watt talk before a game at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019.

When the Houston Texans take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, it will be the second time in two years that the Steelers will be involved in an NFL game featuring three brothers. Last December, Tremaine (Buffalo Bills), Terrell and Trey Edmunds were together when the Bills beat the Steelers, 17-10. On Sunday, three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt (Texans) will go against Derek and T.J. Watt in a battle for family bragging rights. It’s also the first time that all three Watt brothers will play on the same field, in the same game.

It’s a rarity for three brothers to play in the same NFL game. Except for the Edmunds family reunion last year, it’s something that hasn’t happened since the 1920s.

According to John McClain, who covers the NFL for the Houston Chronicle, it last occurred in 1927, when Joe, Cobb and Bill Rooney all played for the Duluth Eskimos.

The Watt Family Will Watch on Television

Naturally, the Watt family is excited about the matchup, especially proud parents, Connie and John Watt.

“It’s always great when we can see two of them at once, rather than try and juggle which game we are going to go to and watch, and which game we are going to tape and watch later or have two televisions going,” said their mom, Connie, in an interview with Teresa Varley of

Yet it’s not quite what the Watt family had in mind when the schedule was released this past spring, as they hoped to be at Heinz Field for the game, surrounded by family and dozens of friends.

“We wanted it more than anything,” said John Watt. “It might be the only time it’s going to happen, who knows. Hopefully there will be more.”

The Bradshaw Brothers Once Made NFL History, Too

Yet the Pittsburgh Steelers are no stranger to games in which brothers make NFL history.

On September 7, 1980, the Steelers took on the Houston Oilers at Three Rivers Stadium, marking the first time that brothers were quarterbacks on opposing teams. On that day, four-time Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw quarterbacked the Steelers, while his brother Craig—a rookie seventh-round draft pick out of Utah State—stood on the sidelines as third-string quarterback for the Oilers.

As it turns out, Craig Bradshaw’s NFL career was short-lived, as 1980 was his only season in the league. He did manage to get into two games as a rookie, but never attempted a pass.

Craig’s lack of success in the NFL was perhaps no surprise. Despite having a strong arm he wasn’t an exceptional passer in college. He was 12 of 35 for 143 yards with one interception at Louisiana Tech, where Terry played his college football. Then he transferred to Utah State where he was 55 of 123 for 1,055 yards with nine touchdown passes against seven interceptions.

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