There will be an Alpha and Omega-like meeting of quarterbacks when Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes take the field on Sunday for Super Bowl LV. Brady, a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer is playing in his 10th career Super Bowl and has the chance to win his seventh Lombardi trophy. The 21-year veteran is a four-time Super Bowl MVP including back-to-back years when he led the New England Patriots to a title in 2003 and 2004.
Mahomes will appear in his second consecutive Super Bowl with the opportunity to be the first back champion and MVP since Brady. He’s well on his way to etching his name among the all-time greats in only his fourth season in the NFL. The 25-year-old quarterback only took 40 games to reach 100 touchdown passes and 34 games to pass for 10,000 yards. Both of which are the fastest time frames in NFL history.
Mahomes was only five-years-old when Brady won his first Super Bowl in 2000 over the then St. Louis Rams. In fact, his father, Patrick Mahomes Sr. retired from Major League Baseball the same year that Brady completed his fourth NFL season. As a youngster, Mahomes watched Brady establish himself as one of the best.
“I grew up watching him play, and he’s still here playing, and he’s still at the top of the game. So for me, I need to watch him and watch the things that he does on and off the field in order to figure out the best way to make me the best player possible,” Mahomes said Monday on a zoom press conference.
“If you’re a young athlete, and you’re playing any sport, and you don’t look up to guys like Tom Brady, you’re crazy,” he continued. ” The guy that’s had success year in and year out, continues to make himself better and not be satisfied with where he’s at. He’s the type of greatness that you strive to be like and to be towards as you grow up.”
Brady is at a point in his career that Mahomes wants to reach someday. Mahomes knows there’s no better way to learn than by watching Brady go to work.
“As I continue in my career, I’m going to still try to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he’s doing it the right way. And you can tell by how many Super Bowl championships he has and the rings that are on his fingers.”
This won’t be the first time that Brady and Mahomes have met on the field with major stakes on the line. Brady completed 30 of 46 attempts, with 348 passing yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions to lead the Patriots to a 37-31 overtime win over Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game two years ago. Mahomes passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns in that game.
That was the year that Mahomes won the NFL MVP. His performance didn’t go unnoticed by Brady who feels there is more to come from Mahomes.
“I think he’s only elevated from that point  on. That year he was the MVP of the league, and the year after that, he came back got off to a great start, dealt with some injuries last year… But he fought through that. He didn’t have the same statistical year as he had in 2018, but he goes onto win Super Bowl MVP. That’s an amazing accomplishment,” Brady said.
“To win MVP in ‘18, to win the Super Bowl in ‘19, and then this year have the kind of year that he had, which is probably more similar to the year that he had in 2018,” Brady further explained. “I just think he’s going to keep improving. I think he’s got the ability to focus when the moments are the biggest and to deliver for his team. That’s probably the mark of any great athlete — coming through in the clutch. I think he’s off to a great start in his career doing that.”
Brady is in some ways one of the last of the once solely preferred pocket passers while Mahomes is the new wave of quarterbacks that bring a different level of athleticism to the field. There is obviously mutual respect between Brady and Mahomes. We shall see which player is able to lead their team to another Super Bowl title.