The last time the Kendricks brothers met on the field, Mychal walked away with bragging rights as his Eagles beat Eric's Vikings. But the stakes are higher a season later as the linebackers' teams face off Sunday in the NFC championship game.
It's rare for brothers to reach the NFL together. There are about 150 cases in the history of the league. It's even rarer for siblings to meet in a conference title game. The last time it occurred was three years ago, when the Jones brothers – Chandler and Arthur – met in the Patriots-Colts AFC championship game.
While the Kendricks brothers are close, they are different in many ways. Mychal, for instance, went to California and Eric followed his father, Marvin, to UCLA. But there are some similarities, as well. Both were drafted in the second round – two years apart – and both started as rookies.
But as the following questionnaire shows – with Mychal answering from Philadelphia and Eric from Minneapolis — the Kendricks brothers are very much individuals.
- What would your brother say is your best attribute as a linebacker?
Eric: Probably my intelligence.
Mychal: My ability to just be able to go, see something, and not necessarily be fooled by other action.
- Whom does your mother favor and why?
Eric: I say him because he was the firstborn. I'm not saying my mom doesn't love me or anything, but it's just something different with the first child. It's different. It's not like they don't love you, but you know.
Mychal: I think there's attributes about us both that she favors. I'm her oldest so I'll always be the oldest, but Eric listens to my mom and she appreciates that.
- What's the strangest thing your brother likes to eat?
Eric: Some weird types of seafoods. He's not picky at all. I'm a picky eater, but he'll eat anything. I've seen him eat octopus. I've seen him eat a lot of stuff.
Mychal: Likes to eat now or liked to eat when we were kids? There was cheese and Eggos together, which was crazy. During Thanksgiving he would make a sandwich out of everything. Usually you make a Thanksgiving sandwich after with real bread. He's doing this with dinner rolls, so his entire meal was little turkey sliders.
- Who's the better snowboarder and why?
Eric: Oooh. Damn. He's a good snowboarder. I'm a better skateboarder, but he's a better snowboarder. I'll give him snowboarding. Yeah, I'll give him that.
Mychal: Me. I'm just competitive. I'm sure he's up there, too.
- For Eric: Why did your mother once describe Mychal as the spontaneous and free-spirited one?
Because that's exactly who he is. He is the guy who listens to his heart and cares about other people. Sometimes people will tell him he needs to care about himself. Mike is a free spirit. I like to call him "Trailblazer" because he creates his own path.
Probably because he doesn't have ADD, or is as artistic as I am, or out-of-the-box thinking. He's more conservative, I'm more of a risk-taker. He thinks things through, sometimes I just go with the flow. There's pros and cons to both.
- What would your brother say is his favorite football memory?
Eric: Playing with me because that's probably one of mine, too. We were both linebackers in high school on the same defense, so that's pretty cool. At the time you kind of take it for granted, but you look back on it now and you wish you would have took more advantage of it.
Mychal: Probably that last pick-six [against the Bengals on Dec. 17] for a win. It probably trumps everything else right now. It was lit.
- What do you like most about your brother's Instagram account?
Eric: Damn. I would say the selfies. They make me laugh.
Mychal: It's very professional. It's just him, his girl and football – and his dog now. Nothing else.
How about the least?
Eric: The selfies. They make me laugh.
Mychal: It's too professional. It's not personal enough. It doesn't show the goofy part that is Eric.
- Why did your brother choose his uniform number?
Eric: I think he came in and he only had limited options. Also it was a 3-4 and he was an outside linebacker type, so it kind of worked then. But as he moved behind the ball that's when it started kind of looking weird. I think he only had a couple of options because he's a rookie. Plus it goes back to blazing your own trail and doing your own thing. He's was kind of like, 'I like it, so who cares?'
Mychal: I think it was the best number of the ones that were left.
- For Eric: What pop star had a brief man crush on Mychal?
Rihanna. I saw it on Instagram. [Correct]
For Mychal: Who's the national football award Eric won as a senior at UCLA named after?
Dick Butkus. [Correct]
- You're both listed at 6-foot. Who's taller?
Eric: I'm taller. He's like 5-11 and something and I'm like 6 and something. Not quite 6-1.