After the first playoff games of his career on the road (excluding Super Bowls), Patrick Mahomes has confirmed his place among NFL immortals as he prepares for his fourth NFL Grand Finals appearance in six seasons.
At just 28 years old, Mahomes could add a third championship ring to his collection and, in doing so, would join a very select group of immortals in Canton with three or more Super Bowls as a quarterback.
The list is easy to summarize as it only contains four names: Troy Aikman with his 3 championships, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with 4 each and, of course, Tom Brady heads the list with his 7 wins in the finals.
Mahomes, with a victory, would have his third title a season before Troy Aikman, who won his third and final Super Bowl in his seventh season as a starter with the Cowboys.
But the real comparison is with Tom Brady.
— The 33 Team (@The33rdTeamFB)
January 28, 2024
Mahomes and Brady, similar backgrounds
Tom Brady, in his first six seasons as a starter with the Patriots, won three Super Bowls in three appearances.
Ironically, the only Super Bowl loss in Patrick Mahomes faced the Tom Brady-led Bucs in 2021.
This loss for Mahomes was only the second of his playoff career. Since then, he has only stumbled once more: against Joe Burrow in the 2022 AFC Championship.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, benefited from a very talented team around him and won his first three Super Bowls without losing a single playoff game. However, he missed the playoffs in his second full season as the Pats’ quarterback. It will also continue to be the only absence of this type for Brady during his years with the Patriots. The other exclusion from the playoffs is related to his injury that cost him an entire season.
For Mahomes, it is the sixth trip to the playoffs in as many seasons with six appearances in the American Association Championship. Those six appearances resulted in four Super Bowl appearances.
Quite a batting average for the former baseball player (like Tom Brady).
When you compare the two quarterbacks’ first six seasons, looking at the playoffs, it’s an impressive record.
TOM BRADY IN THE PLAYOFFS
(first 6 seasons as starter)
- 2001: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2002: absent from the playoffs
- 2003: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2004: Super Bowl champion
- 2005: eliminated by the Broncos in the division championship
- 2006: Eliminated by the Colts in the association championship
PATRICK MAHOMES IN THE PLAYOFFS
(first 6 seasons as starter)
- 2018: eliminated by the Patriots in the association championship
- 2019: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2020: Super Bowl finalist
- 2021: Eliminated by the Bengals in the association championship
- 2022: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2023: Super Bowl LVIII against the 49ers (result to come)
Can we make the direct comparison and say that Mahomes is better than Brady?
It is not so simple.
give time to the time
Taking just the sample of the first six seasons, yes, obviously, we could give the crown to Patrick Mahomes who has been, since the beginning of his career, a prominent figure in the NFL.
However, it wouldn’t be honest to compare the raw stats of the two quarterbacks due to the eras. Almost twenty years apart, it is not the same NFL and Mahomes benefits from an indulgence on the field that was not yet established in the Brady era.
However, what we can compare are the individual honors, as they are awarded comparatively to others in the NFL in a given year.
Mahomes, in his first six seasons, already has two regular season MVP awards. Tom Brady finished his career with three MVP awards, but won his first in 2007 during his seventh season as a starter with the Patriots.
The famous perfect season in which Brady threw fifty touchdown passes en route to a surprising loss in the Super Bowl.
The main difference between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes at similar stages of their careers, that’s the perception.
When Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe on the Patriots, his stats weren’t spectacular and he was playing in the shadow of Peyton Manning on the Colts. He even had the reputation of being the beneficiary of a playing system finely established by Bill Belichick and his coaching staff.
We praised the Patriots defense, the coaches, the special teams, and Brady was at the bottom of that list. We must not forget that Brady was a late pick in the draft (sixth round) and that nothing predicted the career he was going to have.
Time has obviously changed things and today, looking back, we no longer talk only about Belichick’s genius, but about the chemistry between the two and the extraordinary meeting for the Patriots between an exceptional coach and a legendary fourth.
Patrick Mahomes is the savior of the Chiefs. A first-round pick in 2017, he immediately held a pick spot in the organization even without receiving the start at the start of his rookie season. He watched veteran Alex Smith lead the Chiefs to the playoffs in his first year, where he only played sporadically.
In 2018, however, the team gave him the keys to the vehicle and Mahomes responded with a 5,000-plus yard season and a 12-4 record.
Since then, Mahomes has become the face of a new generation in the NFL, taking over from Tom Brady, most notably when he finally hung up his cleats after a brief stint with the Bucs.
Super Bowl LVIII and the sequel
At only 28 years old, he still has plenty of time to write his story and, above all, rewrite NFL history with his unique skills and exemplary performances on the field.
We can’t say he’s better than Tom Brady as of this writing.
Let’s talk about it in ten years, or maybe even five if he keeps up the pace.
Don’t miss Super Bowl LVIII on RDS and RDS.ca on February 11, from 4:30 p.m.