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Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Antonio Brown’s “brotherly” relationship will be put on hold in Week 2

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Players from the Miami area carry a unique bond with one another, and that bond will be on display when Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes will go against Antonio Brown in Week 2

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

You can watch any number of documentaries on the Miami-Dade area, and know how it is an absolute hot bed for football talent. A direct pipeline to the NFL, if you will, and the players who come from this area are spread all around the league. Coming from Miami isn’t uncommon, but the bond which connects the players from this area certainly is.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown hails from the Miami area, and so does Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The two players who will be going head-to-head this Sunday at Heinz Field have a bond which goes beyond football. One Rhodes calls “brotherly”.

"We grew up in the same neighborhood. We went to the same school. It's more going to be a brotherly type thing." Rhodes told Pittsburgh media, via the Steelers official website.

But don’t mistake a little brotherly love as a lack of competition. The two athletes usually train together in the offseason, and will be trying to do their best to one-up the other on the field when it counts.

“Every offseason we find time to work out. He loves the game. He loves playing the game. He is always smiling. He goes out there and does what he does best, catch the ball and try and score touchdowns.”

Of all the matchups between the Steelers and Vikings, this might be the most electric, and fun, to watch on Sunday. Rhodes, a Pro Bowl player in 2016, will likely follow Brown around the field on Sunday, and there are only a handful of cornerbacks who have slowed Brown’s production on game day.

Will Rhodes be the next?

“Good guy. Good in space. He finds ways to get open. You just play your game. You do what you can do.” Rhodes added.

‘You do what you can do’ is such a simple statement, yet so very true against Brown. There have been a multitude of occasions when defensive backs have Brown blanketed, only for Brown to find a way to come down with the football for a big play. Some consider Brown a player you can’t stop, but only hope to contain, and Rhodes will certainly have his hands full on Sunday with No. 84 standing opposite him.

As intriguing a matchup Brown vs. Rhodes is, the matchup on the opposite side featuring Trae Waynes and Martavis Bryant might be just as intriguing. Bryant, who missed all of 2016 due to suspension, has yet to put his stamp on the field in terms of a big play. If the Vikings roll coverage towards Brown on a regular basis, it will be up to Bryant to win his one-on-one matchup and make a play.

Brown will impact the game, as he always does, whether it is with Rhodes covering him, or the attention he draws from the defense. Nonetheless, for one day during the 2017 season, Rhodes and Brown will be a little less “brotherly” and fierce competitors.

Get your popcorn ready...