Patrick Mahomes doesn’t turn 29 until September. He’s just won his third Super Bowl, his third Super Bowl MVP, and become the first quarterback to go back-to-back since Tom Brady in the mid-2000s. Mahomes’ GOAT candidacy is real.
The inevitability of Mahomes and the Chiefs has a whiff of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. The way he orchestrates comebacks and fourth-quarter drives is reminiscent of Brady. Give Mahomes a sniff and opponents are so often helpless.
Even when the Chiefs couldn’t get their offense humming against a stout Niners defense, did anyone really think they were out of it? They never are with Mahomes.
He threw an interception after going seven straight postseason games without one. Yes, he forced it a bit on that throw, but it was a faultless performance from then on. Kansas City’s offense has been unreliable all season – they led the league in dropped catches, and there were moments of sloppy play on Sunday.
Mahomes, aided by the mastermind of Andy Reid, found a way to generate enough offense. We all knew he could put up outrageous numbers when he had a stacked offense. What Mahomes has done in each of the last two years, though, is show he can win in a different way.
It’s no longer about hunting the big plays. This has been an exhibition in adaptation from Mahomes and Reid, which has taken them from an entertaining, successful duo to a true NFL dynasty.
Only Brady and Bill Belichick have won more Playoff games among all quarterback-head coach pairings. Brady and Joe Montana are the only quarterbacks with more postseason wins than Mahomes. Brady, Montana and Terry Bradshaw are the only quarterbacks with more Super Bowl wins.
Prior to Sunday’s game, a strong case could’ve been made for Mahomes as a top-five quarterback in NFL history. Now, anything lower than third all-time would be controversial.
Brady has four more rings and two more Super Bowl MVPs. His final three Super Bowl MVPs came at 37, 39 and 43. Ageing as gracefully as Brady is perhaps not a fair expectation for Mahomes, but at only 28 years old, it’s reasonable to expect him to maintain this level for at least half a decade.
Since becoming the starter in 2018, Mahomes has won six consecutive division titles. He’s never been eliminated before the AFC Championship Game, and has made four Super Bowl appearances. By metrics advanced and traditional, Kansas City’s run to Super Bowl glory in Las Vegas was the toughest any team has faced.
After enjoying homefield advantage in past seasons, Mahomes took his team into Buffalo and won. He then toppled the number one seed Ravens in Baltimore. Sunday’s Vegas masterpiece was the most impressive of the trilogy – the Niners are a better all-round team than the Chiefs, and their defense was causing Kansas City problems.
Mahomes used his legs to get crucial first downs. He released the ball quickly on screen passes. When the Chiefs got into the redzone with the first overtime period nearing its end, he was calmer than anyone else in the stadium.
It’s one of the greatest performances in Super Bowl history. Mahomes was already on a GOAT-level trajectory. This Playoff run has elevated him further – he could retire tomorrow and there would be a strong debate about whether he’s the second-greatest player in NFL history. By the time we get to 2030, Mahomes may well have surpassed Brady as the consensus GOAT.
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