After his first career playoff appearances (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, he will join a very select group of immortals in Canton with three or more Super Bowls under their belt.
It's easy to summarize the list because it only contains four names: Troy Aikman with his three championships, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with four each, and of course Tom Brady at the top of the list with his seven playoff victories.
With the win, Mahomes will capture his third title a season before Troy Aikman won his third and final Super Bowl title in his seventh season as the Cowboys' starter.
But the real comparison is with Tom Brady.
– The 33rd 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 games.
Ironically, it was the only Super Bowl loss Patrick Mahomes came up against a Tom Brady-led Bucs team in 2021.
This defeat was only his second career playoff loss for Mahomes. Since then, he has faltered only once again: to Joe Burrow in the 2022 AFC Championship.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, took advantage of an extremely 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' starting quarterback. Furthermore, this would remain Brady's only such absence during his years with the Patriots. The other exclusion from the playoffs is related to his injury, which cost him an entire season.
For Mahomes, this is the sixth trip to the playoffs in as many seasons with six American League Championship Series appearances. Those six appearances resulted in four Super Bowl appearances.
Quite average batting average for a former baseball player (like Tom Brady).
When you compare the first six seasons between quarterbacks, and you look at the playoffs, that's an impressive track record.
Tom Brady in the playoffs
(First 6 seasons as a start)
- 2001: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2002: Missed the playoffs
- 2003: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2004: Super Bowl champion
- 2005: Eliminated from the division championship by the Broncos
- 2006: The Colts were eliminated in the Federation Championship
Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs
(First 6 seasons as a start)
- 2018: Patriots eliminated from the League Championship
- 2019: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2020: Super Bowl Final
- 2021: The Bengals are eliminated in the NBA Championship
- 2022: Super Bowl champion and MVP
- 2023: Super Bowl LVIII vs. 49ers (results coming)
Can we make the direct comparison and say Mahomes is better than Brady?
It's not that simple.
Give it some time
Sampling just the first six seasons, yes, it's clear we can give the crown to her Patrick Mahomes, who since the beginning of his career has been a leading figure in the NFL.
However, it would not be honest to compare raw stats of quarterbacks due to eras. Nearly twenty years apart, this is not the same NFL and Mahomes benefits from leniency on the field that has not yet been established in the Brady era.
However, what we can compare are the individual awards as they are awarded on a comparative basis to others in the NFL in a given year.
Mahomes, in his first six seasons, has already won two regular-season MVP awards. Tom Brady finished his career with three MVP awards, but won his first in 2007 during his seventh campaign as a starter for the Patriots.
The famously perfect season in which Brady threw fifty touchdown passes en route to an upset loss in the Super Bowl.
The main difference between tom brady and Patrick Mahomes is at similar stages in their careers, that's the perception.
When Brady took Drew Bledsoe's spot on the Patriots, his stats weren't amazing and he was playing in the shadow of Peyton Manning on the Colts. He even had the reputation of being the beneficiary of the playing system meticulously crafted by Bill Belichick and his coaching staff.
We praised the Patriots' defense, coaches and special teams and Brady came at the end of that list. We must not forget that Brady was a late pick in the draft (sixth round) and that nothing points to his career.
Obviously, times have changed things, and today, looking back, we are no longer just talking about Belichick's genius, but about the chemistry between the two and the Patriots' extraordinary meeting between an exceptional coach and a legendary quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes is the Chiefs' savior. A first-round pick in 2017, he immediately carved out a preferred spot in the organization even without getting 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 played only sporadically.
However, in 2018, the team gave him the keys to the car and Mahomes responded with a 5,000+ yard season and a 12-4 record.
Since then, Mahomes has become the face of a new generation in the NFL, taking the torch from Tom Brady, in particular, when he finally hung up his boots after a brief stint with the Bucs.
Super Bowl LVIII and its sequel
At just 28 years old, he still has a lot of time to write his history and, above all, rewrite NFL history with his unique skills and exemplary performance 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 years if he continues at his pace.
Don't miss Super Bowl LVIII on RDS and RDS.ca on February 11, from 4:30 p.m.
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