Like father, like son...
It's natural to resemble your dad when it comes to attributes like personal style, cadence, and sports fandom. After all, you likely spent your childhood learning from the examples set by your father. That being said, what about following his footsteps professionally? What if you grew up watching your dad spend his career in a sport where only a miniscule amount of the very best make it? In that sense, following in his footsteps becomes a daunting task.
According to the NCAA, only 1.6% of college football players make it to the NFL. So, for NFL players to have a career in the league, and then have their sons do the same later on in life, it's like capturing lightning in a bottle twice. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame site, 224 sets of fathers and sons have played football professionally. In honor of Father's Day (procrastinators PSA: it's this Sunday), we're looking back on the most esteemed NFL families in that exclusive group.
From the Ryans to the Mannings, see where these NFL's father-son duos (trios, and even quartets) rank in our 2018 NFL Father-Son Power Rankings.
10. The Hasselbecks
Father: Don Hasselbeck
Son(s): Matt Hasselbeck, Tim Hasselbeck
Don's eldest son, Matt, was a sixth-round QB who spent 17 seasons in the league and threw for over 36,000 yards. The three-time Pro Bowler is considered one of the best Seahawks in franchise history. Matt's younger brother, Tim, went undrafted in 2001 and spent time on practice squads before spending six seasons as a backup QB for various teams.
9. The Grieses
Father: Bob Griese
Son(s): Brian Griese
You know how your dad would exaggerate his athletic achievements before you were old enough to know better? Well, Dolphins QB Bob Griese didn't have to do that because it's hard to exaggerate perfection. In 1972, Bob won each of the six games he started in, including Super Bowl VII to complete the Dolphins' perfect season. Bob and the Dolphins would repeat by winning Super Bowl VIII a year later.
8. The Lucks
Father: Oliver Luck
Son(s): Andrew Luck
Papa Luck spent five seasons (1982-1986) in the NFL playing QB for the Houston Oilers. Oliver was a backup for most of his career and for two seasons he was a teammate of another dad on this list -- Archie Manning.
7. The Shulas
Father: Don Shula
Son(s): Dave Shula, Mike Shula
Don Shula is one of the greatest minds in sports history. Prior to becoming a legendary NFL coach, Don played DB from 1951 to 1957. Don spent an astounding 33 consecutive years as a head coach in the NFL. Along the way he would win two Super Bowls (VII, VIII) and set the record for most career wins as a head coach (347).
Both of Don's sons followed in their father's footsteps. Dave became head coach of the Bengals in 1992 and even faced his dad's Dolphins in 1994 and 1995 -- Papa Shula won both of those "Shula Bowls." The youngest of the Shula boys, Mike, has spent the last 30 years in various coaching roles in both NFL and college football, he served as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide from 2003 to 2006.
6. The Hochulis
Father: Ed Hochuli
Son(s): Shawn Hochuli
Every NFL fan recognizes the name Ed Hochuli, and even the most casual sports fans know him as the ridiculous ripped referee. Ed spent 28 seasons (1990-2017) in the NFL before retiring in March 2018.
Ed's son, Shawn, is keeping the Hochuli name alive in the NFL. Shawn has been an NFL official since 2014, and following his dad's retirement, he was promoted from back judge to referee.
5. The Simms
Father: Phil Simms
Son(s): Chris Simms, Matt Simms
Chris, the oldest of the Simms sons, was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Bucs. Chris spent most of his eight-year career as a backup QB, but he had the best season of his career in 2005, going 6-4 as a starter and posting a QB rating of 81.4. Matt Simms, who went undrafted in the 2012, spent the beginning of his career as a backup QB for the Jets. For the last three seasons, Matt has been a member of the Falcons' practice squad.
4. The Ryans
Father: Buddy Ryan
Son(s): Rex Ryan, Rob Ryan
The late Buddy Ryan was the architect of the 46 defense which led the 1985 Bears to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl XX victory. When Buddy became coach of the Cardinals in 1994, he gave his twin boys, Rob and Ryan, their NFL start by adding them to his Arizona coaching staff. Rex was a LB coach, while Rob was a DB coach.
Rex would go on to become the D-line coach for the Ravens winning a Super Bowl XXXV ring in 2001. Rex has eight years of NFL head coaching experience, his most recent stint coming with the Bills from 2015-2016. Rob would bring the Ryan clan two more Super Bowl Rings as an LB coach for the Pats in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII. Rob most recently worked as an assistant head coach for Buffalo in 2016 when Rex was head coach of the Bills. The Ryans have five Super Bowl rings and 50 years of NFL coaching between the three of them.
3. The Longs
Father: Howie Long
Chris Long seems to be a chip off the old block, the two-time Super Bowl champion is about to enter his 11th season as a DE. Kyle Long couldn't let his big brother get all the NFL shine though. The 29-year-old OG has spent his five-year career with the Bears and has been selected for the Pro Bowl three times.
2. The Matthews
There's a reason why the Matthews are called "NFL's First Family." Over three generations, they've had seven family members play in the NFL, but for this list we're going to focus on the lineage of Clay Matthews Sr., Clay Matthews Jr., Clay Matthews III, and Casey Matthews. It all started back in 1949 when Clay Matthews Sr. was selected in the 25th round of the NFL Draft (yes, they had that many rounds back then). Grandpa Matthews was selected by the Rams, but ended up spending his four-year career playing tackle for the 49ers.
If that weren't enough, Clay's younger brother, Casey, spent four years (2011-2014) as an LB for the Eagles.
1. The Mannings
Father: Archie Manning
Son(s): Peyton Manning, Eli Manning
The Mannings are the unrivaled father-sons NFL trio. Archie spent 14 years (1971-1984) as an NFL QB, throwing for 23,911 yards and 125 touchdowns. Archie's teams never made the playoffs, but Peyton made for the postseasons Archie missed out on. Peyton made the playoffs 15 times in his 18-year career. The five-time NFL MVP won two Super Bowls and set a slew of QB records including passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes (539) before retiring in 2016.
Don't sleep on Elisha though. The youngest Manning brother has two Lombardis of his own and is going for more as he enters his 15th season. Eli's 210 consecutive QB starts streak is the second-longest in NFL history (Brett Favre's 297 is no. 1). Archie and his boys have thrown for a combined total of 147,533 yards. Name a better trio, I'll wait.