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Top brothers in NFL history: Does New York Jets’ pair make it?

Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams, Bros, NY Jets, NFL
Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have both Williams brothers

At times, the NFL can be a family sport. Fathers pass the legacy down to their children, multiple brothers play in the league, and there are sprinkles of cousins everywhere.

Since the New York Jets have a pair of All-Pro brothers, Quinnen and Quincy Williams, it’s interesting to look at those pairings and compare: who are the best brother duos in the history of the NFL?

Joey and Nick Bosa

Joey Bosa was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016 and has made four Pro Bowls thus far in his career. Joey has 67 sacks in 93 career games, averaging 12 sacks in a 17-game season. He also has 15 forced fumbles. Injuries have derailed his past two seasons, hurting his chances to get higher on the list.

Meanwhile, in just five seasons, Nick Bosa has compiled a Defensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, one first-team All-Pro, and four Pro Bowls. He has 53.5 sacks in 68 games, or 13.4 sacks per 17 games. He also has 10 forced fumbles and 72 tackles for loss.

Maurkice and Mike Pouncey

Maurkice Pouncey played 11 seasons at center and earned at least one honor in 10 of them. He was a two-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-teamer, and a nine-time Pro Bowler. Mike was a four-time Pro Bowler at the same position.

Bruce and Clay Matthews

Bruce and Clay Matthews both played for 19 years in the NFL. While Clay was a one-time second-team All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler at linebacker, Bruce was a 14-time Pro Bowler, seven-time first-team All-Pro, and three-time second-team All-Pro as an offensive lineman. Bruce was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Ronde and Tiki Barber

Ronde Barber was a three-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-teamer, and five-time Pro Bowler. In his 16-year NFL career, he amassed 197 passes defensed (third all-time) and 47 interceptions. Ronde was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023.

Tiki, meanwhile, was a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame in 2023. A platoon back for some of his career, he finished his 10 years in the NFL with back-to-back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances and three consecutive 2,000-scrimmage-yard seasons. In 2005, he was a first-team All-Pro and ranked fourth in MVP voting and third in Offensive Player of the Year voting.

Peyton and Eli Manning

Not much needs to be said about Peyton Manning. He holds the NFL record for most MVP awards, quarterback first-team All-Pro selections, 4,000-yard passing seasons, single-season passing yards, and single-season passing touchdowns. He is also third in career passing yards and career passing touchdowns. Peyton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021.

Eli, meanwhile, is far less decorated but remembered for his two Super Bowl wins over the Patriots. He made four Pro Bowls in his 16-year career but threw over 20 interceptions three separate times. Eli has the 11th-most interceptions for a quarterback all-time (244) and the 10th-most touchdown passes (366). He will first be eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2025, and it will be interesting to see how voters treat him.

Sterling and Shannon Sharpe

Sterling Sharpe was on a Hall of Fame trajectory before a neck injury ended his career in his seventh season. Sterling was a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler, also garnering MVP and Offensive Player of the Year votes in two seasons. He averaged 85 receptions for 1,162 yards and 9 touchdowns per 16-game season. He may never make it to the Hall of Fame due to lack of longevity, although Terrell Davis’ induction gives him some hope.

Shannon Sharpe was a four-time first-team All-Pro, one-time second-teamer, and eight-time Pro Bowler. He had three seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and two with at least 10 touchdowns. His 10,060 receiving yards rank fifth all-time by a tight end. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Jason and Travis Kelce

This pair of brothers are both heading to the Hall of Fame. Jason Kelce retired a six-time first-team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler. He anchored the dominant Eagles offensive lines of the last several seasons. Jason was a particularly dominant run-blocker, earning a 95.5 Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade in the Eagles’ 2017 championship season.

Travis ranks fourth all-time among tight ends with 11,328 receiving yards, and he’s still playing. He has seven 1,000+ yard seasons. He’s a four-time first-team All-Pro, two-time second-teamer, and has made nine consecutive Pro Bowls. He’s also a three-time Super Bowl champion, serving as Patrick Mahomes’ primary weapon in the last two runs.

J.J. and T.J. Watt

J.J. Watt amassed 114.5 sacks in 12 NFL seasons, averaging 12.1 sacks per 16 games. He was a five-time first-team All-Pro, three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and finished second in MVP voting once while making five Pro Bowls. J.J. also posted 195 tackles for loss, ranking second in that category since it was tracked starting in 1999.

T.J. has put up an excellent career in his own right. He has 96.5 sacks in 104 games, averaging a whopping 15.8 sacks per 17-game season. He already has 107 tackles for loss (39th all-time) and 27 forced fumbles (34th) in seven seasons. T.J. won one Defensive Player of the Year while finishing second twice and third once. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro.

Can the Williams brothers join?

Quincy and Quinnen are a ways off from joining these top duos. Quinnen first broke out in 2022, Quincy in 2023. They’ll need to sustain at least another 5-7 years at the same level of play before they can think about entering this category.

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