I guess the rest of the world does it too, but America’s recency bias is particularly impressive. So now, after only six years as a starter in the league, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is already being outfitted for GOAT status, greatest of all time, following the KC Chief’s gutty come-from-behind 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 57. And it’s not three weeks after the undisputed GOAT, Tom Brady, officially retired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 23 years and seven Super Bowl titles.
Yes, Mahomes is an exceptional talent, and a lovely human being, it would seem. And now he’s got two Super Bowls in the last four years and two regular season MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs. Which puts him slightly ahead of where Brady was it his first six years in the league. But here’s the thing.
One reason Mahomes most likely won’t catch, much less pass, Tom Brady is the career status of his Hall of Fame to be head coach Andy Reid.
Andy Reid was born March 19, 1958. He piloted the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2012 before taking the helm for Kansas City. Today, at age 64, Reid said he will come back next year if the team wants him. Which, obviously, they will.
But therein lies one of Mahomes’s fundamental challenges. When Tom Brady won his second of seven Super Bowl titles in 2003, his Hall of Fame to be a head coach, Bill Belichick was 51 years old, born April 16, 1952. His career was just beginning to skyrocket.
The 13 year age difference between Belichick and Reid in their respective second Super Bowl winning years is significant. It means that sometime soon Mahomes will have to play for another head coach, one less likely to be of Reid and Belichick‘s stature.
Remember the 2020 season when the Chiefs lost to Brady’s Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl 55? It wasn’t that Mahomes had an off day. No, he was the same elusive sidearm slinger he is today. It was the patchwork offensive line that couldn’t protect him that led to the lopsided, 31–9 Bucs win, the only easy Super Bowl victory Brady ever had.
In a game with 11 players per team, there are too many variables to put together at the right time to allow for the talent of any quarterback to be maximized all the time. That includes the variable of coaching leadership.
Brady had a 20-year run with a single Hall of Fame head coach. Mahomes is only in his seventh season, sixth as a starter. And his head coach is already 64 years old.
To catch Brady, even if he replicates Brady’s unparalleled consistency of making it to the Super Bowl essentially every other year of his career, Mahomes would need ten more years minimum, not lose any of those subsequent five Super Bowl appearances, and not get hurt throughout that entire run, or lose any of his critical teammates to injury, either.
What are the odds that all those variables will line up, including a new head coach, to serve his interests to get to seven Super Bowl titles as a scrambling QB?
Ask Aaron Rodgers. With all the talent he possesses, he’s got exactly one Super Bowl title. No other QB in league history has more than four. Plus, Brady also took less money throughout his career, so his team could spend more for the other necessary players needed to create a championship team.
Now if anyone can do it, it’s Mahomes. But getting all the pieces to fit just right to make it to 10 Super Bowls and win seven? That’s a tall order for anyone, even someone of Mahomes’s natural talent and drive.
No, Brady’s the unicorn. Everything fell just right for the chiseled chin, except for that helmet catch in 2007. Goddamn David Tyree and Eli Manning for escaping the rush.
As always, please consider:
2 thoughts on “MAHOMES V. BRADY”
Another variable is the likelihood of another star QB emerging from the college ranks.
“…Brady’s the unicorn.”