- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The big brother got the best of the little brother in the first meeting. But this time the stakes are higher when siblings Arthur Jones of the Baltimore Ravens face Chandler Jones and the New England Patriots.
A trip to the Super Bowl is on the line for the Jones brothers in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Baltimore beat New England, 31-30, in Week 3 of the regular season.
Arthur, 26, currently has bragging rights in the family. But the oldest brother knows it's more important to win this weekend.
Whoever advances has a golden opportunity to bring the first Super Bowl ring to the Jones family.
"Absolutely, I rubbed it in his face a little bit," Arthur said Wednesday of beating Chandler in the regular season. "But the bragging rights are not going to matter if I don't win this game. This is a lot bigger game and a lot more at stake than last game."
The good news is one of the Jones brothers will be playing in his first Super Bowl on Feb. 3. The bad news is the other Jones brother will be heartbroken after getting so close in the AFC title game.
However, the first champion among the Jones brothers has already been crowned in a different sport: mixed martial arts. Middle brother Jon Jones, 25, became the UFC light heavyweight champion in 2011 and still holds the title. Jon, when reached on a promotional tour for "The Ultimate Fighter," said this weekend is another great moment for the Jones family.
"I’m so happy for my brothers and I’m excited to see the game this weekend," Jon Jones said. "I know they both want to play in the Super Bowl, so I expect them to play the best games of their lives. I’m proud of Arthur and Chandler.
"I know it’s not easy to make it this far in the NFL, but they’ve both dedicated their lives to becoming the best football players they can be. I can’t wait to see who makes it to the Super Bowl."
There are very few secrets Chandler Jones, 22, keeps from his oldest brother. But this is one of those weeks when he will.
Chandler tweaked his ankle in New England's playoff victory over the Houston Texans, but he did practice on Wednesday. The two close-knit brothers have talked this week. Yet, Chandler is doing his best Bill Belichick impersonation by not informing Arthur of his status.
Still, Arthur knows his younger brother better than anyone and expects Chandler on the field Sunday considering how much is at stake.
“He’s a hard worker, he’s a kid that has heart, and he’s going to be out there no matter what, I think,” Arthur Jones said. “But who knows? I’m not a doctor. I don’t know what’s going on and he’s doing a good job of not telling me.”
Regardless of the outcome, it’s been a great year for the Jones brothers. Chandler and Arthur both made it to the conference title game, while Jon won both of his championship fights in 2012.
It will take Sunday's AFC Championship Game to determine which Jones brother will finish the season at Super Bowl XLVII.
“It’s definitely a blessing for my family, and it’s definitely a unique situation,” Arthur Jones said. “It’s going to be cool. So why not us?”