March 4, 2024

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Patrick Mahomes isn't ready for comparisons to Tom Brady, but they're coming

Patrick Mahomes isn't ready for comparisons to Tom Brady, but they're coming

LAS VEGAS — Tom Brady was visiting a zoo in Brisbane, Australia, two weeks ago when he and his friends passed by a goat barn. “Coming in on the Mahomes show,” one of his friends said.

Brady, who shared the video on social media, laughed. But will anyone laugh Sunday night if Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl for Mahomes' second straight Super Bowl and third at the age of 28? Brady, the undisputed greatest of all time, has seven Super Bowl rings and won his third at age 28 as well.

Mahomes isn't even thinking about putting Brady or the GOAT. Unless you ask him.

“I mean I'm not even close to halfway through, so I haven't really thought much about it,” Mahomes said on Super Bowl opening night on Monday. “I mean your goal is to be the best player you can be. I know I'm lucky to have a lot of great players around me.

“So, right now, I'm doing everything I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring. And then, if you ask me that question in 15 years, I'll see if I can get closer to seven. But seven feels like Still a long way off.

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Brady played well into his 40s, winning his last two Super Bowls when he was 41 and 43 years old. And Mahomes wasn't throwing out the “Ask me in 15 years” line just to ignore reporters.

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“That's the goal. You want to play as long as they'll let you play,” he said. “It takes a lot of work outside the building. It takes taking care of your body. It takes eating healthy and (trying to) get rid of the daddy you got. But try to do everything you can to stay healthy and go out there and be the best player you can be.

Patrick Mahomes hopes to lift the Lombardi Trophy for the third time on Sunday. (Mark Sanchez/Sportswire Icon via Getty Images)

Speaking of Brady, Mahomes still holds a grudge. His only Super Bowl loss came at the hands of Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021.

“I lost the Super Bowl, and I know how much that hurts,” Mahomes said. “You want to make sure you walk away from that feeling. So I think it's more than just lifting that cup, when you lose and you're in the locker room and you feel like you were so close and you didn't get it, I'm going to look more for that feeling. Than to lift the cup.”

If Mahomes and the Chiefs beat the 49ers, he will become the first quarterback since Brady to repeat as Super Bowl champion.

“Being able to win two Super Bowls in a row is special,” Mahomes said. “There's only a small group of teams that have been able to do it. So for us, this is just to prove that we can do it. I think we've got the guys to do it.”

What makes Mahomes special, perhaps more so than Brady in the long run, is his ability to make plays with his feet. Besides running first down — never at full speed and only a half-step ahead of oncoming defensive players — Mahomes can buy time in and around the pocket and wait for a receiver to get open or simply throw to him.

“(Coach) Andy Reid always reminds us that there are no dead roads,” Chiefs receiver Justin Watson said Monday night. “Patrick has such great vision. He sees everything, sometimes before it happens, so you always have to be prepared.

“He'll throw it to anyone, anywhere, anytime. And he'll be on the money.”

The Chiefs have 14 wins in Mahomes' 17 playoff games. He passed for 39 touchdowns and 4,802 yards, numbers not reached by Hall of Famers Steve Young, Brett Favre, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Johnny Unitas.

Mahomes has only thrown seven interceptions in those games, and appears to be completing big passes late in games. He's had 18 potential drives to tie scores or go-ahead drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in the playoffs, and the Chiefs have tied or led on 12 of those drives. Three of them came in the final minute of regulation, an NFL playoff record.

“There's a saying I love that says, 'Whether you think you can or you can't, either way you're right,'” Watson said. “We always feel like we have a chance. Are we 10 points down in the Super Bowl like we were last year? It doesn't matter. We feel like we're going to play a game and find a way to win, and that starts with Pat.”

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The rest of the NFL is 8-55 since 2018 when it trails in the playoffs by 10 or more points; Mahomes 4-2. The only quarterback with double-digit wins is Brady, with six (he was 6-8 at those positions).

There's that name again. Mahomes is flattered and humbled by the comparison to the league's greatest player of all-time.

“It's too early,” Mahomes said. “Tom has won seven Super Bowl titles, every record in the book. All I can do is be the best Patrick Mahomes I can be every day, and that's all I'm going to continue to do.”

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(Photo: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)