Brady vs. Mahomes – Old vs. New


Lynne Sladky

Tom Brady lifting the Lombardi Trophy after his seventh Super Bowl win.

After twenty-one seasons, Tom Brady is still making the Super Bowl.

Brady has now visited the big game for the first time without a Patriots uniform on. This season, he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an 11-5 record, seeded 5th in the NFL Playoffs. They won three straight games, playing against the Washington Football Team, the New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers to make his return to the Super Bowl.

The Bucs faced off against the defending champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the up-and-coming face of the NFL. The Chiefs dominated this season, going 14-2 throughout the regular season and beating both the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills to go to their second straight Super Bowl.

This is the matchup that everyone has been waiting for. The old NFL, represented by Tom Brady, vs. the new NFL, showcased through Patrick Mahomes. Not many disagree with the belief that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. However, the only person who could possibly take that title is Patrick Mahomes.

Tom Brady throwing the football as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Brady and Mahomes are polar opposites when it comes to athleticism. About 20 years ago, passing was a dominating force. Most quarterbacks would sit in the pocket and throw the ball. Now, quarterbacks have become more mobile and have begun running and escaping pressure instead of just throwing. The league has paved the way for younger, more athletic talents such as Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson. Older quarterbacks like Brady are fading out, with Philip Rivers retiring, Drew Brees likely just having played in his last game, and Aaron Rodgers’ career years dwindling away.

Patrick Mahomes, 25, has had three years as a starter in the NFL. All three have resulted in him visiting at the playoffs, with two of those ending up as Super Bowl appearances. He has won League MVP once as well as one Super Bowl MVP. With his incredibly athletic and acrobatic style, Mahomes looks as though he is a promising replacement for Tom Brady as the greatest to ever do it.

Patrick Mahomes scrambling down the field. (David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Brady, 43, has now won seven Super Bowls and appeared in ten. He has won the Super Bowl MVP award six times and won the League MVP award three times. He is widely regarded as the most successful NFL player of all time, as well as one of the best. Unlike Mahomes, Brady doesn’t possess many of the notable athletic skills besides his ridiculous accuracy and beautiful throwing form.

Since Brady used to play for the New England Patriots, he and Mahomes were both in the American Football Conference (AFC), meaning that they could never meet in the Super Bowl. Brady became a free agent and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are in the National Football Conference (NFC), which now allowed him to meet Mahomes in the Super Bowl. This year was Super Bowl LV, 55, and it was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

In the game, Brady and the Buccaneers dominated the Chiefs, winning 31-9. Mahomes tried, demonstrating his athleticism by throwing some of the best incomplete passes in NFL history. Brady threw for three touchdown passes with no interceptions, while Mahomes had no touchdowns and two interceptions.

“He’s a proven winner who will provide leadership, accountability, and work ethic when necessary to lead us to our goal of winning another championship,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians stated right after the signing of Brady in March 2020.

Brady’s future, as of right now, is up in the air, but it was clear that Brady still is the more experienced quarterback. Mahomes, conversely, has a very bright future and wasn’t receiving any help from his wide receivers or his offensive line, but Brady and the Buccaneers simply outplayed the Chiefs.

The NFL is leaning towards the younger generation of quarterbacks, and Brady’s seventh Super Bowl win could be the last one that we see from him. This could be the last word in the elder generation of quarterbacks. Mahomes will be in plenty more Super Bowls, possibly just as many as Brady had before him.