Summer 2024

Carlson brothers Anders and Daniel make NFL history, share deep faith in God

The odds of any high school football player advancing all the way to the NFL are roughly 0.023%. Astronomically low. The odds of two brothers making it are even lower. And those two brothers playing against each other in the same game? Almost unthinkable.

But that’s just the scenario the Carlson family found itself in on Monday night in Las Vegas, when the Raiders escaped with a 17-13 victory against the Green Bay Packers.

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Handling the placekicking duties that night for the Packers was Anders Carlson, a rookie who has yet to miss a kick in the league. On the Raiders sideline was Daniel Carlson, a six-year veteran who’s established himself as one of the better kickers in the game as a two-time All-Pro.

The matchup marked the first time in 36 years that brothers have kicked against each other in the NFL, and the Carlson brothers are only the sixth pair of brothers to kick in the NFL at the same time.

“To compete all our lives and finally play in a game where we’re actually wearing jerseys and competing against each other,” Anders told ESPN before the game, “it’s going to be awesome.”

Monday’s contest was the first organized football game ever that both Anders and Daniel played in. They overlapped a year at Auburn in college in 2017, but Anders redshirted while Daniel played his final collegiate season.

Daniel was a fifth-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, and while he was busy building a career in the NFL, Anders took over for him at Auburn. Now Anders, a sixth-round pick this year by the Packers, is proving himself to be a worthy replacement for longtime Packers kicker Mason Crosby.

Through five games, Anders is a perfect seven-for-seven on field goals and 10-for-10 on extra points, while older brother Daniel is five-for-seven on field goals and eight-for-eight on PATs.

The brothers from Colorado Springs, Colorado, however, are bonded by something much deeper than their shared occupation and even their family ties: a love for Jesus Christ.


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A post shared by Anders Carlson (@anders_carlson6)

Anders describes himself as a “Believer” on Instagram and frequently captions his posts with Bible verses or mentions of God. In Daniel’s bio on X, he lists the Bible verse Proverbs 3:5-6, which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Faith was instilled in the Carlson brothers from a young age by their parents, Hans and Jodie, yet they knew that God would ultimately have to draw them to Himself. He did just that, through the game of football.

“It is such a cool, surreal experience to look back on all that God has given me,” Daniel said in 2018. “Playing is my form of worship. It is how I glorify Him. And all of this is so much better than I ever expected.”

Football is a big part of Anders’ life, but he knows he was ultimately created for a greater purpose.

“I think the biggest thing for me is just knowing my identity,” he told the Colorado Springs Gazette this past May. “I think for me, faith is a really big thing. My current thing I’m doing is football, but that’s not who I am. I’m just focused on the things I can control, but knowing my identity is not in football, it’s in God.”


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A post shared by Anders Carlson (@anders_carlson6)

Both Anders and Daniel will continue to keep their family members busy, flying all across the country to watch them kick in the NFL and knowing that God has established their steps.

Anders and his Green Bay teammates have a bye on Sunday before traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos in Week 7. Daniel’s Raiders host the New England Patriots on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.

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