It’s Still Too Early For A Patrick Mahomes GOAT Conversation
If Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII, the quarterback will win his second Super Bowl in five seasons as a starter in the NFL. Such a victory would keep him on an incredible pace, one that could someday qualify him as the greatest passer in NFL history.
But what if he doesn’t win? Well, the world will keep turning, for one.
Making a case between Mahomes and Tom Brady, the presumptive GOAT by most metrics because of his Super Bowl titles and longevity, is a farcical argument at this point in Mahomes’ career. As an individual, the Chiefs quarterback is arguably more talented now than Brady ever was at any point in his career. But in terms of achievements, namely championships, it’s impossible to project what Mahomes can accomplish in comparison to what Brady has already done.
Yet, whenever Mahomes advances to the AFC Championship, as he has done in all five of his seasons as a starter, or the Super Bowl, which he has now done three times, the GOAT conversation resurfaces, as if fans are warming up to a generational battle between the two quarterbacks. The word “legacy” becomes an unbearable buzzword on sports television, just as it does whenever LeBron James breaks a record Michael Jordan never even approached.
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Not only does this lead nowhere, but it also leads some to criticize Mahomes as an “overrated” quarterback, which should be impossible. Unlike the James/Jordan debate, which includes tangible statistics and accolades between two bodies of work, one complete and the other nearly complete, a debate between Brady and Mahomes is not close to taking flight.
Brady won more Super Bowls than Mahomes has had seasons in the NFL, counting his rookie season on the bench behind Alex Smith. The only way one can possibly complain about Mahomes’ on-field play is to compare him to those with finished stories. He’s not overrated; people are just making silly comparisons.
“I’m trying to catch Tom,” Mahomes said at a press conference earlier this week. “But Tom’s a long ways away. You can ask me when I’m like 38 years old.”
Instead of engaging in a mind-numbing discourse that will not be fully resolved for at least another decade, if ever, it may be more prudent to engage in a more basic form of appreciation. On Sunday, the best quarterback in the NFL will face the Philadelphia Eagles, arguably the best team in the league on a position-by-position basis and try to figure out a way around them. Jalen Hurts won’t hand him the title; he’s an excellent quarterback in his own right trying to win a championship in his second season. A stifling defense will give him an excellent chance to do so.
That’s what Mahomes is focused on, after all. He won’t be thinking about Brady in the huddle on Sunday. He’ll be thinking of ways to get the ball to Travis Kelce and an army of stunningly obscure receivers against one of the best defenses in the NFL on the most widely watched episode of television on the planet. Why on Earth are we still talking about Tom Brady?
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