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Can Patrick Mahomes Surpass Tom Brady’s Legacy as the Greatest of All Time?

Credit: Paul Higham/Getty Images


If there was any lingering doubt about Patrick Mahomes’ greatness, that was put to rest last night after he carried the Kansas City Chiefs to an overtime victory in Super Bowl 58, with only three seconds remaining. 


Following four quarters of play and no outright show of dominance from either the San Francisco 49ers or the Chiefs, the game went into overtime tied 19-19. The Niners won the coin flip, claiming first possession in overtime. However, with the newly instated overtime rules in effect for the first time this NFL season, both teams would get possession, regardless of whether the Niners were to score first. 


Niners quarterback Brock Purdy, in his first Super Bowl appearance, drove up the field only to be stopped on third and long deep into Chiefs territory, forcing the Niners to opt for the field goal and secure three points. However, playing against Mahomes, that was the biggest mistake the Niners could have made. Now down 22-19, Mahomes took the field with the Super Bowl on the line. In typical Mahomes fashion, he shredded the Niners' defence all the way to the red zone, where he would call an iconic Chiefs play in “Corndog left”, feeding wide receiver Mecole Hardman a dime to win the Super Bowl 25-22. 


This is Mahomes’ third Super Bowl at just 28, making him the fourth starting quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls, joining Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman - and the second-youngest. Mahomes also won his third Super Bowl MVP last night, tying Joe Montana for the second most Super Bowl MVPs in NFL history, behind the one and only, Tom Brady, who has five.


Tom Brady Super Bowl

Credit: DAZN


Mahomes’ career has seen an eerily similar start to that of Tom Brady’s, prompting questions to arise as to whether the Chiefs quarterback will be the one to catch the “GOAT”. Mahomes has a long way to go in terms of catching up to Tom Brady’s seven Super Bowl rings, five Super Bowl MVPs and three regular-season MVPs. However, when it comes to early career pace, it seems Mahomes holds a slight advantage.


In regular season play by the age of 28, Mahomes holds six division titles in comparison to Brady’s four. Mahomes also has two league MVPs and six Pro Bowl selections, in comparison to Brady’s zero MVPs and three Pro Bowl Selections. Mahomes also has two first-team All-Pro selections at 28, in comparison to Brady’s zero.  

However, considering the early 2000s NFL was completely different in that it favoured more of a stand-and-bang rushing-centred offence as opposed to today’s modern high-powered passing attack offence, it’s not that crazy that Mahomes holds a slight advantage over Brady. Regular season also holds much less weight in comparison to postseason stats, which is where both Brady and Mahomes step up in big moments and put their skills on display the most. 


By 28, Mahomes had appeared in six Conference Championships, whereas Brady had only appeared in three. They both hold three Super Bowl wins each, with Brady going 3-0 and Mahomes going 3-1. Brady by 28 had won two Super Bowl MVPs out of his three victories, whereas Mahomes has won three Super Bowl MVPs in his three Super Bowl victories. 


Despite Mahomes’ slight advantage over Brady in the early years of their careers, he does not let this get to his head and acknowledges Brady’s greatness, as well as his status as the greatest football player of all time.


“I’m not even close to halfway. I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Your goal is to be the best player that you can be. I know I’m blessed with a lot of great players around me. You can ask me that question in like 15 years and I’ll see if I can get close to seven,” said Mahomes in a press conference before Super Bowl 58.


Mahomes Celebrating

Credit: Angela Andeloro/People


Mahomes acknowledges he has a long way to go in his NFL career if he ever wants to be in contention with Brady for the greatest of all time. 


Brady’s illustrious 23-year career was filled with greatness from the start, until the very end. In 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, he took a desolate franchise in a football wasteland and built the greatest NFL dynasty of all time. Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots while appearing in the Super Bowl eight times. He racked up 30 playoff wins, on top of three regular-season MVPs in New England. 


In his 20th season, Brady announced a “retirement” only to come back for three more seasons, where he continued his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his first season with the Bucs, a 43-year-old Brady won another Super Bowl, ironically giving Patrick Mahomes his only career Super Bowl defeat. Brady also won his fifth-career Super Bowl MVP, setting a league record and solidifying his status as the greatest of all time. 


As Brady handed Mahomes his only Super Bowl loss, die-hard NFL fans will never give Mahomes the honour of holding the GOAT title over Brady. Even Mahomes himself has acknowledged that Brady will always have something to hold over the head of Mahomes.


“To me, it’s always going to be tough because Brady beat me in the Super Bowl. That’s something he’ll always have over my head.”


However, Mahomes seems to use this loss to Brady as motivation. 


“It gives me something to strive for every single day, just chasing greatness. Whenever I’m tired and I don’t want to work, I know that I have to do it in order to be in moments like this.”


Brady and Mahomes

Credit: Mark Van Sickle/Sports Illustrated


Mahomes knows he has a long way to go if he ever wants to have the chance to eclipse the immortal Tom Brady as being the greatest NFL player of all time. Although he is on pace to catch him right now and might even hold a slight advantage, it still seems like such a far-fetched feat for the Chiefs quarterback. 


Mahomes would have to play into his early 40s to catch Brady with the pace that he’s currently on. That sort of longevity is such a rare achievement in a sport as physical as football. Even though Mahomes seems like he’s on track to catch Brady, a lot can happen in 12 years.


Although, whether you’re a die-hard Brady fan who forever remains in awe of his relentless pursuit of excellence, or someone who hates Mahomes because he tore up your favourite team with ease, Mahomes deserves to be regarded as an all-time great. The already first-ballot Hall of Famer name will forever be tied to Brady’s. 


They used to say you can never bet against Brady, now they say it about Mahomes, a man who looks like the prime candidate to take his crown.



Edited By: Josh Reidelbach


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