KANSAS CITY, MO – Patrick Mahomes was 6 years old when the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, and he has seen Tom Brady quarterback on the biggest football stage many times since. Excuse Mahomes if it seems like Brady has played in more Super Bowls than ever before.
“Playing against one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback of all time, in his 150th Super Bowl is going to be a great experience for me,” Mahomes said after the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl LV versus Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium (6:30 PM ET, CBS).
“Going out there and having the chance to do it again and do it against the best, I think it’s special and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
In his third season as a starter, Mahomes won a Super Bowl. The Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV last year.
But he has no one against Brady. Few quarterbacks. The list includes just two names: Eli Manning, who defeated Brady twice in a Super Bowl with the New York Giants, and Nick Foles, who did it with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The list of quarterbacks who lost a Super Bowl to Brady is longer. Six made it: Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams, Jake Delhomme of the Carolina Panthers, Donovan McNabb of the Eagles, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams.
Mahomes’ name will be on one of these lists and his legacy may ultimately depend on which one. Brady with one win would have a 3-2 record against Mahomes, including wins in an AFC championship game and a Super Bowl. He would also have seven Super Bowl wins, which would make it hard for Mahomes to ever catch him.
Mahomes with a Chiefs win would have that rare prize, a Super Bowl win over Brady, and narrow the gap between them to four at championships.
He might have some space in Brady’s head too, though this tweet Brady, sent after Manning’s retirement last year, is a lead.
Congratulations on your retirement and a great career Eli! I wish you hadn’t won Super Bowls.
– Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 24, 2020
Manning recently described the formula for beating Brady in a Super Bowl as easy in an interview with Forbes magazine.
“You just have to have Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul on defensive line – people like that – doing some sacking and that shouldn’t be a problem at all,” said Manning.
The Chiefs won’t have any of these players to defend in this year’s Super Bowl. But Manning’s argument is well received. The Giants won twice against Brady because they kept the Patriots once at 14 points and the other time at 17 points.
But holding down the dots isn’t a foolproof way to get the job done. Brady and the Patriots scored 13 points against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII but won by 10. The Patriots scored 33 points in Super Bowl LII against Foles and the Eagles but lost by eight points.
Head coach Andy Reid knows how to lose to Brady in the Super Bowl. The Patriots defeated Reid and the Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX. The Eagles were 10 points behind in the fourth quarter, but used up too much of the music box on a touchdown drive and took little time to finish their comeback.
Reid could be Mahome’s greatest ally this time around. His offensive playcalling helped the Chiefs hold Brady and the Bucs off in week 12 of this season.
After leading by 17 points in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs held onto a 27-24 lead in the final minutes. Facing a third-and-7 the Chiefs had to convert to keep the ball away from Brady, Reid requested a pass, which Mahomes completed for 8 yards to Tyreek Hill.
With a new set of downs, the Chiefs ran out of time. When asked why he risked an incomplete pass or an interception on third relegation instead of a running game that would have kept the clock moving, Reid said, “I learned a long time ago that you were not giving the ball back to Tom Brady.”
Mahomes has played well in his four career matchups against Brady. He has 1,392 yards, or nearly 350 yards per game, with 12 touchdown passes and three interceptions, while completing more than 65% of his throws. His passerby rating is 111.
Brady versus Mahomes has 1,202 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 63% of his passes. His passerby rating is 82.
The range between the two is 2-2.
Reid will take care of bigger things early in the game, but for now he’s enjoying the matchup.
“We look forward to the opportunity to play it and I know Pat will do it with Tom and I’m sure Tom will do it with Pat too,” said Reid. “So it should be a damn good football game.”