On the surface the St. Louis Rams doing battle with the Chicago Bears provides enough intrigue to draw viewers in on playoff implications alone. The Bears are battling without their top quarterback at 5-5 and still have a chance to make a push up the NFC North standings. The Rams aren’t going to catch the top dog in the NFC West, but at 4-6 they are still very much a part of the mix in the wild card chase.
But the appeal doesn’t end there.
No, this game between the Bears and Rams will be the first time ever in any sport that 28 year old Chris Long will do battle with his 24 year old brother Kyle Long. And they won’t just be on opposing teams playing at different times on Sunday; these two will actually be lining up in the trenches simultaneously and could see some serious collisions take place. How’s that for cranking up the intrigue-o-meter?
Obviously these two aren’t the first members of their family to make an impact in the NFL either. Their father, Hall of Famer Howie Long, will be in attendance for this monumental and surely pride-filling occasion as he will be taking the day off from his gig with FOX to be there in person when his two offspring collide. He doesn’t seem like the kind of dad that would cut a jersey in half and sew it together to wear to the game, but you can be sure that Long will be a more than interested onlooker at this momentous event.
These two former first round picks are not shying away from the idea of going up against one another even though they won’t be lining up directly across the line of scrimmage. Chris told Peter King’s MMQB:
“We’re not going to get a heavy dose of each other. Which is good.”
But Kyle was quick to add:
“There is a way to block him, if and when I have to I will do my job. It’s going to be interesting.”
Most siblings are at each others’ throats or at least have some sense of hostility toward their counterpart, but these two aren’t like most brothers. Chris and Kyle are really quite funny guys who like to exchange jokes rather than discussing their day-to-day lives when they do get the chance to communicate, and surely some of that will be present in the trenches on Sunday.
As for the on-field matchup, Kyle’s Bears and Chris’ Rams are both vying for a playoff spot in the highly competitive NFC with backup quarterbacks. The one both will be conscious of on Sunday happens to be Chicago signal caller Josh McCown as Kyle and the Bears offensive line attempts to keep Chris and the Rams’ fierce pass rush at bay. The game itself will be quite matchup to watch, but the game within the game will be just an added perk for onlookers this Sunday.