Tom Brady meets Patrick Mahomes challenge

Tom Brady meets Patrick Mahomes challenge

Forget that Tom Brady will be nearly two weeks closer to his 44th birthday when he stalks his seventh Super Bowl championship now that he has ripped Father Time’s heart out of his chest and showed it to him.

Super Bowl 2021 won’t be his toughest challenge of them all because of his age.

It will be because he’ll have to beat Patrick Mahomes.

Tom versus Terrific.

It isn’t the greatest Super Bowl quarterback showdown — Joe Montana versus John Elway in Super Bowl 24 wins that honor — but it is America’s dream matchup, and it is the most compelling of them all because:

It pits Brady’s iconic status and relentless drive for even more history with a new franchise, which will be the first to play a Super Bowl in its own stadium, against the breathtaking wunderkind with the magic arm and imagination who plays as if he were in the playground and never met a comeback he didn’t like.

And the elephant outside the room named Bill Belichick only adds to the intrigue — vindication for Brady no matter what happens next, temporary vilification in some circles for Belichick, on the outside of the playoffs after all this time looking in.

The Super Bowl is so often decided by the quarterback duel, and Mahomes is the best quarterback Brady has confronted on the last Sunday of the season.

Brady hasn’t always showed up as Superman at the Super Bowl. He wasn’t supposed to lose two of them to Eli Manning, and certainly not the other one to Nick Foles.

super bowl 2021 will feature tom brady vs. patrick mahomes
Tom Brady; Patrick Mahomes
Getty Images (2)

He was the underdog at his first Super Bowl on Feb. 3, 2002 — when Mahomes was 4 years old — against Kurt Warner and The Greatest Show on Turf Rams, and he will be the underdog again now.

If there is one quarterback with a wing and a prayer of one day threatening Brady’s six championships, it is Mahomes, who will be defending his first that he won a year ago, and has a great head coach in Andy Reid alongside him.

For all the talk about all of Brady’s records and wins, Mahomes has a 44-9 won-lost record, 6-1 in the playoffs. His lone playoff loss was that 37-31 overtime thriller in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City to Brady and the Patriots after the 2018 season. Mahomes (16-for-31, 295 yards, 3 TDs) actually outplayed Brady (30-for-46, 348 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT). He has outplayed virtually every quarterback over a career that has seen him throw 131 TDs against 26 INTs.

Brady, you ask? His playoff record is 33-11. He has thrown 80 TDs against 38 INTs. His career record is 232-69. He has thrown 588 TDs against 194 INTs. His Super Bowl record is 6-3. He has thrown 18 TDs against 6 INTs.

Head-to-head? Brady (6 TDs, 5 INTs) is 2-2 versus Mahomes (11 TDs, 3 INTs).

Warner threw 36 TDs against 22 INTs for a league-best 4,830 yards during the 2001 regular season, and was a 14-point favorite with all the explosive weapons he brought with him to the Superdome that night in Super Bowl 36. Brady (18 TDs, 12 INTs, 2,843 yards) was at the end of his first year as Patriots starting QB and not yet Brady.

Brady directed the two-minute field-goal drive at the end that upset the Rams, but his 16-for-27 for 145 yards and 1 TD that night won’t beat Mahomes.

The Over/Under number is 56.5, the second highest Super Bowl total to the Brady versus Matt Ryan 2017 matchup, when Brady erased a 28-3 third-quarter deficit and prevailed 34-28 in overtime.

It goes without saying that Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who had the pass rushers with the Giants to hound and pound Brady in Super Bowl 42, and Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, won’t be sleeping much from now until Feb. 7.

Brady was a pedestrian 21-for-35 for 262 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT in his 13-3 victory over Sean McVay’s Rams in Super Bowl 53. Mahomes (26-for-42, 286 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) was bottled up for a while by new Jets head coach Robert Saleh before leading the Chiefs to 21 points in the last 6:13 for a 31-20 win over the 49ers in last year’s Super Bowl.

Much will be made of the fact that Michael Jordan was 35 when he won his sixth and final NBA championship. Bill Russell was 35 when he won his 11th and final championship as a player. Yogi Berra was 37 when he won his 10th and last championship as a player. Henri Richard was 37 when he won his 11th.

If Brady is denied his seventh championship. It won’t be because he is too old. It will because Mahomes was Superman.

About the author

Erin Clark

Erin is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional football matches. She is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. She currently caters her skills for the sports and health section of Report Door.