"TOMPA BAY" DELAYS KANSAS CITY'S DYNASTY
SPORTS & OPINION EDITOR
IMAGE CREDIT: ANDREW MORI
February 11, 2021
The stage was set as analysts spent two weeks discussing the importance surrounding Super Bowl LV. A matchup of the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, against the 25-year-old with the potential to replace him, Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes made his NFL debut as a starter in the 2018-2019 season. During the span of his first three seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs nearly dominated the AFC, earning the one-seed as AFC Champions in two of the three seasons. With head coach Andy Reid, and an offense that includes Wide Receiver, Tyreek Hill, Tight End, Travis Kelce and the one of best quarterbacks in the league, Mahomes, a back-to-back Super Bowl win would have solidified the beginning of a dynasty.
When asked which player he trusted the most, Max Kellerman, a co-host of ESPN’s “First Take,” offered praise to the young quarterback.
“Patrick Mahomes is, at this moment, not the greatest or the most accomplished, but the best player to ever live. He is a guy who has more influence on the outcome of a given game and doesn’t fold under pressure,” Kellerman said.
As Mahomes attempts to de-throne Brady, he will have to wait until next season for another shot at a Super Bowl ring. In a near perfect performance, Brady and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chiefs 31-9, becoming the champions of Super Bowl LV.
In a season that was filled with unknowns caused by COVID-19, Brady winning yet another ring is something NFL fans have grown accustomed to. The 43-year-old quarterback has played 20 seasons in the NFL and currently holds the NFL record with 10 Super Bowl appearances.
“I’m so proud of all these guys. Everything we dealt with in November, but BA [Bruce Arians] had all the confidence in us, the team had a lot of confidence, we came together at the right time and I think we knew this was going to happen,” Brady said in a press conference after the game.
Brady finished the game with a QBR of 81.8, completing 21 of 29 pass attempts, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns, earning his fifth Super Bowl MVP award. While receiving his award, Brady alluded to the idea that he would be returning to Tampa Bay next season.
“We’re coming back, you already know that,” Brady said during his acceptance speech.
Should Brady return, he will continue adding to his legacy in the NFL as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. While the media continues its debate between Brady and Mahomes, the thought that Mahomes may one day claim the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) title has never crossed Brady’s mind.
“We’ve been grinding pretty hard so I haven’t really had time to think of all the things like that [what Super Bowl LV means for Brady’s legacy]. I’m just blessed and grateful for my teammates and the people that have supported us all year,” Brady said.
Prior to Super Bowl LV, Mahomes’ last time losing by double digits was during his time at Texas Tech. This streak ended Feb. 7 when Tampa Bay’s defense owned the line of scrimmage. Up until Super Bowl LV, defensive coordinators had not been able to find a way to slow down the Chiefs’ offense.
Kansas City suffered two losses during the regular season. First in week five against the Las Vegas Raiders, and the other in week 17, a game where the majority of starters sat because the team had already clinched a first round bye. Despite taking a loss, the Chiefs managed to put up 32 points. It seemed that the blueprint to beating the Kansas City Chiefs was as simple as scoring more points than them, considering the Raiders needed to score 40 points to take down the reigning champions.
While Brady lit up the Chiefs defense, a key to the Buccaneers’ success was their ability to prevent Mahomes from throwing a touchdown. Tampa Bay’s Defensive Coordinator, Todd Bowles, exposed the injured Chiefs offensive line, which was nearly annihilated in one-on-one matchups with Defensive End Ndamukong Suh and Linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
“Mahomes traveled 497 yards before throwing the ball or being sacked, the most scramble yards in a game by any QB in the NGS Era (since 2016),” the NFL’s Next Gen Stats said in a Tweet.
According to ESPN, Mahomes was pressured on 51.8% of his dropbacks. However, he was only sacked three times for a loss of 27 yards total. Chiefs fans are stuck wondering if the outcome may have been different had Kelce, Darrel Williams and Hill not all dropped some of the best passes Mahomes has thrown thus far in his career.
In a game that extended Brady’s legacy in the NFL, fans were reminded once again of his greatness. Despite being the oldest quarterback in the league, Brady continues to win on the biggest stage, in his first season with a new team. No sign of ending anytime soon, it may be awhile until Mahomes dethrones the GOAT of the NFL.
Mahomes was one of the first to congratulate Brady on his seventh ring.
“You’re a legend, man,” Mahomes told Brady after the game in a video Tweeted by NFL Films.
DraftKings Super Bowl 2022 odds lists the Chiefs as the early favorite at +550 odds. The Green Bay Packers and the Buccaneers follow at +900. Only time will tell whether fans will get to witness another Mahomes vs. Brady matchup. Until then, Brady owns the head-to-head matchups 3-2, with the most impressive win being one of the “Greatest Super Bowl Quarterback Matchups of All Time”.