There is no more important position in the National Football League than quarterback and this season’s Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs v Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sees the man considered the greatest quarterback of all time go up against the QB expected to take that crown away from him in the coming years. It is Tom Brady v Patrick Mahomes so how do they compare?
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Patrick Mahomes has emerged as the NFL’s newest star over the past few seasons and is already selling more jerseys than six-time Super Bowl winner Brady. It is not hard to see why either – the 25-year-old can do it all and by the time he is done, he will have almost certainly revolutionised the position with the help of Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and the men that are going to follow in the next few NFL Drafts.
From his rocket of an arm to his ability to scramble, from those incredible plays that should only work on the playground to his no-look passes, Mahomes is fun to watch if you are associated with the Chiefs and a nightmare if you are associated with the team on the opposite sideline. Surrounded by a whole host of weapons in the passing game, it will take a huge effort from Tampa Bay’s defense to slow him down on Super Bowl Sunday.
While Mahomes continues to add to his ever-growing reputation on his ascent, Brady is still achieving firsts in the twilight of his career. Having finally ended his long association with New England a year ago, Brady rolled into Tampa and immediately turned the Bucs into pre-season contenders. They have lived up to that billing.
It has not been all smooth-sailing for Brady – hey, he threw THREE picks during the NFC Championship Game – but he now has both conference titles in his long list of accolades and he is set for his 10TH Super Bowl appearance. That is truly a staggering number. Brady has proved he can deliver a Super Bowl run without Bill Belichick, but can he now deliver a Vince Lombardi Trophy in his first season with Tampa. And can he do it in the Buccaneers’ own stadium?
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Mahomes and the Chiefs spotted Buffalo a nine-point headstart in the AFC Championship Game and it never felt like they were in trouble. KC quickly turned the game on its head in the second quarter and never looked back as they built a very talented Bills team in comprehensive fashion. Mahomes threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns to lead his team to victory and I am expecting a very similar performance from the KC quarterback here. After all, he has already picked apart this Tampa secondary once this season, amassing 462 yards and three TDs during the Chiefs’ regular-season win at Raymond James Stadium. The yardage may not be as huge but it should still be another aerial performance from Mahomes, who has seven 300+ passing yard performances in his last 10 games, and he will compliment that on the ground with a few key runs, one of which could see him find the endzone in a Super Bowl for the second season running.
While Mahomes poses a dual threat with his arm and his feet, it is safe to say that the Buccaneers will be relying on Brady to beat his younger counterpart with his arm here. He is yet to pass for over 291.5 yards in the playoffs this season, but he would have done it had it not been for a few sloppy picks in the NFC Championship Game and he has cleared that mark on nine occasions this season, including the Bucs’ regular-season defeat to Kansas City in November. I am confident he will manage it again here and the 43-year-old is going to need some help from his receivers in this one. The good news for him is that he is surrounded by talent in the passing game. Mike Evans led the team in targets, receptions and touchdowns this season and even when teams have paid close attention to him, he has still delivered at some vital moments. Evans has found the endzone in each of his last two postseason appearances and beat his man for a couple of TDs when the Bucs and Chiefs met in the regular season, so him catching a touchdown pass from Brady looks to be a real possibility here.
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