It is a 25-year-old magician versus a 43-year-old goat. Kansas City Chiefs Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes will meet for the fourth time in three years on Sunday (4:25 pm ET, CBS). They meet for the first time since being anointed Super Bowl champions last year at the Mahomes and have since found themselves a new home in Tampa Bay.
They are not two of the league’s best, with big moments and a penchant for big games – they are generational icons that have gained universal recognition that move their game.
With Brady, it has always been a chess match. His success derives from carving defensively and fitting the ball into the tightest of spaces – though he is taking many more chances in Bruce Arion’s offense as he tries to defy Father Time.
Mahomes, on the other hand, disregards the laws of physics and human anatomy on a weekly basis, inserting his arm into impossible angles. While Brady brings willpower and determination – what inspired him from the seventh-strong quarterback at Michigan and the 199th overall draft pick as Super Bowl winner – Mahomes “Wow.”
They already have three riveting matchups, all judged by one point or less. With Brady now in the NFC South and only watching the NFC West every four years, this could signal his final time to face off until both teams reach the Super Bowl before Brady retires.
Here’s a look at those matchups, and what fans can expect when the two face off on Sunday.
What did it mean: The Chiefs were 5-0, and Mahomes, in his first year as a starter, was already setting the NFL on fire with 1,513 yards and 14 touchdown passes. The Patriots were 3-2, but on a two-game winning streak.
The game was high scoring suitable for the Mahomes-Brady matchup. It had about 700 passing yards, split almost evenly between the two, and five touchdown passes, four from Mahomes. The Mahomes threw a 75-yard touchdown pass with three minutes left to tie the 40-minute score at Tyrick Hill, but Brady led a drive that ended with a winning field goal and a 43-40 Patriots victory. The Chief Minister trailed immediately with a 12–4 record and the AFC No. 1 playoff seed 11–5 Patriots.
– New England Patriots (@Patriots) 15 October 2018
Best Moment / Breakthrough Drama for each QB: Brady’s three longest passes of the game came in the fourth quarter. There was no bigger than a 39-yard throw to Rob Gronkowski that put the Patriots in position for the winning goal. Mahomes has two long touchdown passes, a 75-yard move and a Kareem Hunt in 67 yards.
what did they say: “[Mahomes] Made a lot of big ones – Tirk had a great throw at the end, and he had some other great throws. So hard to slow those down. They continue to score a lot of points throughout the year. They are going to be very hard to stop, so glad we had our last shot and gladly we took advantage of it. ” – Brady
“I have the ultimate respect for Tom and everything he has done for this game and his entire career. He has had success in this league because he has won the game with such last-minute drives. Our For, you just have to find a way. Win games like this. If you want to get to where you want to go, you have to win games that are going to be tight and they’re going to be against really good opponents. ” – Mahomes
Who won this round: Mahomes and chiefs voiced their presence, but Brady established early domination in the rivalry.
What did it mean: The stakes were bigger this time as Mahomes and Brady met for the AFC Championship. The first half was a lot different than the first game between quarterbacks. Mahomes and the high scoring Chiefs were disappointed by the Patriots’ man-to-man coverage and fell behind by a 14–0 hurdle. But the expected firing developed in the second half.
On the back of three touchdown passes from the Mahomes, the Chiefs were headed to the Super Bowl when Brady threw an interception late in the fourth quarter, leading the majors 28-24. But the game was erased by a penalty and the game eventually went into overtime. The Patriots won the coin toss and scored the winning touchdown to win 37–31. Mahomes never touched the ball in overtime.
Brady has the best throw in the AFC Championship. pic.twitter.com/25JCwrB0GR
– New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 21, 2019
Best Moment / Breakthrough Drama for each QB: Brady was at his best on the winning drive in overtime when he completed three passes on third-and-10 to allow the Patriots to convert. The Mahomes gave a 23-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams in the fourth quarter, leading them.
what did they say: “I think we’ve crossed a lot this year. Down but not out, and we found a way to play our best four last game – Buffalo, the Jets, did a bye, played brilliantly against the Chargers and today really Played well in. We need another great game. It was a great way to finish. I was probably just as excited as I have been in a long time. A lot of things, a game here or a game there changed everything. Maybe, but that’s football. I’m proud of my team. ” – Brady
“It’s just how the coin deviates, I think you’d say. It’s the kind of thing where he has a great drive. He had a lot of third-down conversions. In the big moments, people took big catches. . [Brady]. This is the one thing you can do is support your teammates, trust your teammates, and when you get your chance, go out there and try to make plays. ” – Mahomes
Who won this round: Brady left with the award, a trip to the Super Bowl, which he won to earn his sixth ring. Mahomes & Co. left with inspiration for the following season.
What did it mean: The Patriots were 10-2 and dominant 8-4. After making a slow start in their first two games against Brady and the Patriots, the Mahomes had 226 yards, a touchdown pass and a 20-7 lead after the first 30 minutes. Brady and the Patriots rallied in the second half, but eventually fell due to the Chiefs remaining for more than a minute as a fourth-down pass in the zone. The Mahomes eventually secured their victory in the rivalry as the Chiefs won 23–16.
– Kansas City Chief (@Chief) 8 December, 2019
Best Moment / Breakthrough Drama for each QB: The Mahomes delivered a 48-yard touchdown pass to Mekol Hardman in the second quarter, in which they would give the Chiefs an edge. Brady lost a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter after officials incorrectly ruled that the receiver had stepped out of bounds before reaching the final zone.
what did they say: “Each game feels a little different and the circumstances are a little different, and it’s a different team every year as well. So I can get a feel for doing some things, but it’s not different situations as a special team. So you just try to work through them during the entire season, and we have three big games to go, and we’re back to winning football. ” – Brady
“At first, I don’t think it would be [Brady’s] last season. He is still playing at a high level. But yes, you want to defeat the best, you want to go out and play the best and give your best effort. But this is a team game, your team has to defeat its team. It’s a really good football team, it’s a really tough environment to play, and so a way for us to win a game – it wasn’t pretty the whole time, it was just a tough, tough fight. ” – Mahomes
Who won this round: Mahomes. Both teams finished the season 12–4, but a head-to-head win earned the Chiefs a nod to the playoffs, forcing Brady and the Patriots to play wild-card weekends when they were 20- to the Tennessee Titans Lost 13.
Round 4, November 29, 2020
What does this mean for Mahomes: Until the teams wind up in the Super Bowl, it’s probably for Mahomes-Brady. A win would make Mahomes someday tell his children that he was against Brady in four matches. Had the Brads won, Brady would undoubtedly have taken pride in a 3–1 record against the Mahomes.
What does this mean for brady: The Bucs are fighting for a playoff berth after falling out of first place in the NFC South with a loss to New Orleans in Week 9 and falling to the sixth seed in the NFC after losing to the Rams in Week 11. The game will define the course of their season. The offense has increased in large numbers, but at times it is wildly inconsistent and has struggled with deep ball in recent weeks, which has affected their great playing ability. Coach Bruce Arion believes it has less to do with Brady’s arm and more to do with the lack of consistency with so many new pieces.
The Challenge presents Brady Heads: Brady lost to Ramus on Monday night in Buchams. The challenge for the chiefs is whether they can also pressurize them like Rama did. The race for the majors has not been productive this season. The Chiefs need big games from Chris Jones and Frank Clarke.
Challenge presents Mahomes Books: Todd Bowles defends high risk, high reward. If the offense can beat the Blitz, they can get chunk play – and Mahomes is one of the league’s best to beat the Blitz. Andy Reid also does a terrific job of opening up his receivers and finding those weak spots in zone defense for the Mahomes.
Who has the edge in a sentence?
It is difficult to choose against Mahomes, who may be on the way to the second MVP award of his young career. – Teicher
The Mahomes have. The Bucs’ pass defense has become unstable in recent weeks and looks even more vulnerable without Jamel Dean (Confederation). – Lane