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Pregame Post: Brotherly Love

Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson calls it "history" – "something I'll always remember."

That would be the opportunity to play against his brother Adrian, the Chicago Bears' running back.

Going into Sunday, Mike Peterson was hopeful that this would be the third time that he got the opportunity to play against Adrian. He has never tackled his brother, but one such opportunity slipped away last season when the Falcons played the Bears.

"Last year we were on the field; we were so close," he said. "He was running the ball… I realized when he went in the game that it could happen."

An injury robbed him of the potential opportunity on Sunday. Adrian was listed as inactive.

It's a rarity for brothers both to reach a level as high as the NFL. But on the Falcons both Peterson and Jonathan Babineaux both have brothers in the league. Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry has a brother, John who is an offensive lineman at the University of Mississippi, who is projected as an NFL player.

Peterson said he does not know of a situation where brothers have come into contact with each other on the field. One possible case would have been the Barber brothers when Tiki was a running back for the New York Giants and Ronde was a defensive back for Tampa Bay.

Jordan Babineaux is a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks. Since both play defense, they rarely get on the field at the same time, though Jonathan recalls a time when they might have played against each other on special teams. He does not remember any contact.

But he does remember plenty of trash talking leading up to the game.

"We lost by four points [Jonathan's rookie year] but they came here a few years ago and we got back at 'em, so the series is 1-1, which is gooooood," Jonathan said.

For the Peterson brothers, it's more than their mother can bear. Mike Peterson said she has attended the two meetings between brothers, but can't watch. She orders food and walks around the stadium.

"That contact and all that, she just kind of does her own thing," Peterson said.

Mike Peterson is the oldest. He said when he was growing up in Alachua, Fla., he took his brother with him everywhere he went. Adrian did the same for a third younger brother. Mike said he was the protective type, making sure that it was OK if his younger brother hung out with them or played basketball with them despite his age.

Peterson said his whole family is competitive, so no one wants to lose.

"We compete by video games, by who can drink their bottle of water the fastest, who could ride their bicycle the fastest, we compete about everything," he said. "That's just my family. We play checkers. Who's the best checkers player, who is the best card player. That's not just me and my brother, that's me and my dad, me and my mom, me and my sister – everybody."

For Sunday night's game, Peterson said the brothers have bused up a lot of friends and relatives. Mike played at the University of Florida and Adrian at Georgia Southern.

If nothing else, the game will give the brothers something to talk about during the offseason and create plenty of memories -- even if potential on-field contact would have to wait for another year.

"I think my family -- they get a little more excited than me and him," Mike said. "We're just enjoying it. He's got two little boys. I got one boy. It's something they'll talk about when they get older."

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