Brady vs. Mahomes: a battle of generations

by Gary Shelton on February 2, 2021

in general

Brady still playing well at 43./TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

The amazing thing about Patrick Mahomes is how fast his career has begun.

The amazing thing about Tom Brady is how long hs has lasted.

And so it goes. The contrasts between the codger and the kid are endless. Brady is as classic as a statue -- and he runs that way. Mahomes is a point guard on a fast break, a blur of motion making plays as he goes. Brady is yesterday. Mahomes is tomorrow.

As far as the right now of it, we will see.

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It's a quarterback's league, and more than any other, the Super Bowl is a quarterback's game. There was a time when a team could be good enough to win despite an average quarterback; no more.

Make no mistake. This one, too, is in the hands of the quarterbacks. Mahomes is the backbone of the Chiefs. Brady is the respiratory system of the Bucs. If either is average on Sunday, his team is without a chance.

So who do you like? The old standard, or the new wave?

“He’s done an incredible job," Brady said Monday of Mahomes. I really admire Patrick for the player he is. He has the command of his team. I know his teammates love playing for him. He has great charisma. None of these moments are too big for him.

"I know it’s still early in his career. He's got a great skill set. I really admire him. Great player. Big-time performer. He always seems to play his best when his team needs him the most."

Ah, but Brady isn't so bad either, is he?

"I think his brain is second to none," said receiver Chris Godwin.

Yeah, he's old. How much older is he than Mahomes? When Brady was winning his first Super Bowl title, Mahomes was in kindergarten. And when Mahomes turns 70, well, Brady may still be playing.

"He's the same way I am," Mahomes said. "He's going to leave everything he has on the field every single time he's out there. He doesn't care what it takes. He doesn't care if he has to throw for 400 yards or if he has to throw for 100 yards. He wants to win. I feel like I have the same mentality. I just want to win no matter what happens or how it happens."

This year, Mahomes was second in the NFL in passing yards; Brady was third, barely more than 100 yards behind. Brady was tied for second in touchdown passes with 40; Mahomes was right behind with 38. ranked it's Super Bowl quarterbacks Monday. Brady was first. Mahomes, in only his third year, was 17th.

Great receivers? Yeah, they both have them. An underrated running game? Check. A better defense than you might think? Ditto.

But if the Bucs can't slow down Mahomes, if the Chiefs can't play chess with Brady, they will lose.

Mahomes still remembers Brady taking time to talk to him after an NFL playoff game a couple of years ago.

 “That was very important," Mahomes said. "For me, I think it was important because it showed that I was doing things the right way. As a young quarterback in this league, you go in, show up early, put in the time, put in the work but you don’t really know until you get to that spot of where you want to be at. Losing in an AFC Championship game, obviously I didn’t get to the Super Bowl. Him coming to say that he respected what I was doing and how I was playing on the field and the type of person I was, it put that stamp on me that I had to go in and be even better, in order to get to the Super Bowl, which we did last year. I was just trying to keep improving and getting better every single day.”

Brady says that Mahomes isn't finished yet.

“I just think he’s going to keep improving," Brady said. "I don’t know him that well. The times I’ve been around him, I’ve enjoyed it. He has a great maturity around him. He's a great leader. All those guys on his team love that Pat’s the leader. There are a lot of things make him a great player. He has the ability to focus when the moments are the biggest and deliver for his team."

Brady is more of a throwback quarterback. He isn't likely to beat you with his legs. But he has 39 come-from-behind victories, including road wins at the Saints and Packers the last two weeks.

Yet, there are parts of his game that Mahomes envies.

 “Yeah there’s a ton," Mahomes said. "I mean the way he’s able to dissect defenses before the snap is something that I truly admire, that I’m trying to get to that level, the way he’s able to move within the pocket and to be able to reset his feet and to be completely calm and still make the throw right on the money no matter who’s around him is something that I’ll have continue to work on and as I continue in my career, I’m going to try to do whatever I can to watch tape on him because he’s doing it the right way and you can tell by the Super Bowl championships he has and rings on his fingers.”

Ah, but will Mahomes still be playing when he is Brady's age?

"If you want to play this sport for a long time, how physical it is you have to invest as much time into your body as you do anything else," Mahomes said. "I’ve learned more and more in my young career about what I can do to keep myself available and healthy and try to be in the best nutritional state I can be in and I feel like I’ve gotten better, but I want to play as long as they let me. In order to do that, I have to take care of my body as much as I can and leave everything else on the field.” 

Chess vs. video games. Rock vs. jazz. Up-and-coming vs. Here-and-staying.

On the other hand, they have this in common:

They win.

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