T.J. Watt calls sack race with brother J.J. 'healthy competition'

HOUSTON -- Before the Houston Texans' game on Sunday night, defensive end J.J. Watt had the chance to watch his younger brother T.J., an outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, deliver another impressive three-sack performance.

J.J. also knew that with those three sacks, T.J. took the lead in the family, with six on the season, and that he was tied with Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins for the NFL lead.

"I knew he had six sacks, so I knew I had to get at least one. Otherwise, I couldn't go back to my phone after that," J.J. said. "Then, I missed the one, so I was really pissed off."

J.J.'s only sack came late in the fourth quarter and ensured that there would be a tie atop the family and NFL sack leaderboard for at least one more week.

T.J. also had a three-sack performance in Week 1 against the Browns, and J.J. had three sacks in Week 3 against the Giants.

According to T.J., the back-and-forth is just "healthy competition." J.J. said he and his brother are "each other's biggest fans."

"It's always been competitive," J.J. said. "It's always been like that. This is just the first time in the league we've gotten a chance to both be healthy and do it the same time. But, no, we're each other's biggest fans. We each root for each other as much as we can, whenever we can. I want to see him get as many sacks as he can possibly get, just the same way he wants to see me. We compete, and there's definitely a little bit of underlying competition there, but at the end of the day, if he gets 500 sacks, I'd be happy as hell."

The fact that the brothers share the lead is also cool for their mom, Connie.

"I'm sure my mom thinks it's a lot cooler than I do," T.J. said. "She'll take a picture of it, and our names will be next to each other, and it will be cool for her."

J.J. said he has always known what his brother is capable of, "and it's fun for the rest of the league to be able to see it."

"It's pretty wild when you go and you look at the sack sheet, and you see our names next to each other," J.J. said. "We used to beat up on each other in backyard, and now we get to see our names at the top of the NFL sack charts. So it's incredible, and I'm lucky. I have two incredible brothers [T.J. and Chargers fullback Derek Watt], and I'm very fortunate."

Added T.J.: "That's something I'll never take for granted is to be able to sit on the couch and watch them play. It's pretty special."

But although J.J. and T.J. are tied for the lead in sacks, the older brother pointed out on Wednesday that he is ahead in another category.

"Today he got his second AFC Player of the Week or whatever, but, I mean, I got the Player of the Month last month," J.J. said. "So I think that's a little cooler."

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.