Super Bowl Matchup Set: To Be the Man You Gotta Beat the Man
We will have the rare opportunity to see a championship game that includes the implication of the proverbial passing of the GOAT title if Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are able to defeat Tom Brady's Buccaneers in Tampa.
Not only would this make Kansas City back-to-back Lombardi Trophy winners, but it would mean that Mahomes was able to knock off the greatest to ever do it at the quarterback position on arguably the most talented team he's ever been a part of (sorry New England, but you should've treated your man better). Mahomes, who signed the largest contract in sports history following Kansas City's championship win last year, had plenty of expectations to live up to. He has delivered in a big way on their path to repeat as world champs this season.
Patrick Mahomes is adding to a STACKED resume ➖ Super Bowl champ ➖ Super Bowl MVP ➖ 2 AFC titles ➖ MVP ➖ 3x Pro Bo… https://t.co/DtwpvmzQqZ— Bleacher Report (@Bleacher Report) 1611548087.0
Mahomes finished inside the top 5 in passing yards (second) and passing touchdowns (fourth) easily even with a few weeks of struggle during the regular reason. The same can be said of the 43 year old Brady as he finished third in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns with 40 on the season nearly matching his age.
Brady who is in his 20th NFL season now has been around long enough for two generations of football fans to be very familiar with who he is and what he's about, and that can be summed up in one word which is winning. He is the winningest quarterback in the history of the NFL and became the first individual player to win six Super Bowl rings. Now with a chance to add a seventh ring with Tampa Bay, the GOAT knows that he is going to have to make a few plays in this game to beat the Chiefs. The expectation going into this game is that we'll see a shootout, and with these two offenses it's a fair assessment.
Tom Brady is headed back to his 10th Super Bowl 😲 https://t.co/xQTeDQUhvQ— ESPN (@ESPN) 1611530644.0
The Chiefs led the league in average yards per game during the regular season and Tampa Bay ranked third in average points per game with 30.8 and trailing just behind them in sixth place were the Chiefs with an average of 29.6 points per game. On paper these are the two most talented offenses in the league and it's a dream game for NFL fans that want to see touchdowns. But touchdowns aside, the focal point of this matchup is going to be Brady versus Mahomes. As Nate Burleson said immediately following the Chiefs win over Buffalo on Sunday night, it sets up a contest of the GOAT versus the Kid (a term for a baby goat) and believe that we are ALL here for it.
Every generation has their chosen GOAT, but it's never guaranteed to see an event like this we still get to see two players of this caliber squaring off in a championship game. A lot has to fall into place to find ourselves in a situation like this, and after a year like 2020, someone up there must be looking out for us sports fans. Fans will often get into arguments about who would win in a hypothetical matchup all the time. Who would win in a game between Jordan's Bulls and LeBron's Heat teams? Could Tyson knock out Ali? Who wins in a head to head Super Bowl matchup between Brady and Mahomes?
Well we get to find out the answer to one of those timeless questions in two weeks at Super Bowl 55 in Tampa Bay. For Brady he came into this season with the looming question as to whether or not much of his success can be traced back to Bill Belichick during his tenure with the Patriots. It seems like we've written Brady off many times throughout his 20 seasons, and he just continues to get better. At this point it seems fair to call into question whether Brady has some kind of Benjamin Button disease causing him to reverse age.
"Can I say hi to my son?" This Tom Brady interaction 🥰 (via @NFL) https://t.co/0Df7jr702i— ESPN (@ESPN) 1611531168.0
One could argue that due to Brady's advanced age that we aren't seeing Mahomes facing off with the best version of Tom Brady we could've seen, but Brady's stats say otherwise. Furthermore, Brady has passed the eye test all season, rarely showing his age and instead dropping dimes all over the field to his talented receiving core that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown.
Mahomes and the Chiefs will likely enter this game as the favorites to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, but one thing that we've learned about Tom Brady throughout the years is that you can never count out number 12, especially in the playoffs, and especially when the Lombardi is on the line. You only earn the title "GOAT" by ruthlessly dominating the competition year over year and there's never been anyone that has put the pads on that has been a better winner than Tom Brady.
No matter who wins, as fans we will get treated to a spectacular showcase of what the NFL can be. It's not just X's and O's and touchdowns and goal line stands. It's the stories that make sports great. Just like the Madalorian is a western viewed through a Star Wars filter, this is a tale of two gunslingers headed toward the final duel. Two legacies enter, but only one will leave with the the title. That title will no longer just be the GOAT, but BAMF.