It will be a family affair at Foxboro on Thursday when first-year Patriots defensive end, Chris Long, squares off against his brother, and three-time Pro-Bowl guard for the Bears, Kyle Long.
Their only previous meeting, in week 12 of the 2013 season, was certainly one to remember. Back when Chris was with the Rams and Kyle was a rookie with the Bears, the two were involved in a wild fracas which resulted in Chris leaving his team’s bench to pull his brother out of a scuffle. Kyle was fined just under $8,000 for his role in the incident.
This week, in a case of history repeating itself, Kyle, 27, was weary of his 31-year-old brother during another skirmish on the football field. After a dust-up in joint practices on Monday, Kyle was quoted as saying, “I was just making sure [he] wasn’t coming to dropkick me. I turned around and, of course, he was making a beeline for me.” Note to readers who can’t detect sarcasm, he was joking. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if there is any sibling rivalry on the field in Foxboro come Thursday.
Neither is expected to see considerable playing time as both project as starters for their respective teams, but hopefully we’ll see some reps where the two square off directly. I went back and watched the tape from the last two times these guys played each other and a couple of things stood out to me:
- Chris Long looked freakishly athletic at times. Long absolutely decapitated McCown on this play. Long was a problem and drew double-teams all game. Was really fun to watch him work. He is obviously older now and has had to deal with some injuries in his career, but watching this tape you understand why he was drafted second overall.
- Got a brief look at Martellus Bennett’s blocking ability in this game. Saw him take Chris Long to the ground on this play. If he can consistently do this for the Patriots they will be in very good shape in 2016.
- I was hoping to see if Chris would rush to the inside on Kyle in these games, however, Chris lined up almost exclusively over the Bears tackles in this game. I only saw one play where they went head-to-head, and Chris worked off a stunt. To be fair, it totally fooled his brother, although he couldn’t finish with the sack. Long shot (see what I did there?), but maybe BB will draw something like this up in the game today.
Chris and Kyle’s father, NFL Hall of Fame member, Howie Long, was born and raised in Charlestown, MA and attended high school in Milford, MA. It should be a fun night for the Long family tonight, and certainly a match-up on the field that warrants Patriots fans’ attention.