Mahomes vs Brady
The biggest sports betting event of the year is upon us. It’s Kansas City and Tampa Bay in Super Bowl LV, which means a quarterback matchup for the ages: Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady.
Brady is the consensus NFL GOAT. Mahomes is already an MVP and Super Bowl champion. This is the dream quarterback clash, pitting the mid-forties star with the new face of the NFL.
Dominating the NFL with Bill Belichick, Brady made the New England Patriots one of the NFL league’s most successful franchises. Now in Florida, he is chasing his seventh ring, but Mahomes is his toughest ever Big Game opponent.
This is a Super Bowl like no other to complete a season like no other. There will be more cardboard cutouts than fans at Raymond James Stadium. In a unique season, we’ve got a unique quarterback head-to-head.
Quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady
It’s not a surprise to say Mahomes wins this category. Mahomes is no Lamar Jackson out the pocket, but this is about mobility rather than outright speed. The Chiefs QB is as mobile as they come, often dancing around pass rushers and buying himself time.
Brady is closer to 50 years old than 35. Twinkle-toe footwork or lung-bursting rushes were never his game, and that’s obviously only been exaggerated the older he’s got. Nimble enough to dodge the odd sack, Brady compensates for his lack of athleticism with experience and nous.
Brady is a non-factor on the ground. Mahomes can do damage. He recorded 106 yards across the Texans and Titans games in the 2020 playoffs, including a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game. Over play the pass, and former MVP will make you pay.
Questions about Brady’s waning arm strength have been put to bed this season. Brady has often pinged the ball deep in Bruce Arians’ long-ball-loving offense. His intended air yards per pass of 9.1 represented a considerable uptick from 7.6 in his final season as a Patriot.
The ability to hit the deep man has been on show throughout the playoffs. It was perhaps most evident when Brady picked out Scottie Miller for a game-altering touchdown against Green Bay.
Mahomes’ 8.4 in the same category shows that Brady can compete with the arm strength of younger quarterbacks. Still, though, it would be foolish to say Brady can get the same power on his passes that Mahomes can – the velocity Mahomes generates allows him to squeeze the ball through gaps other quarterbacks wouldn’t even consider.
As we compare the two, it’s easy to slip into perception about power versus accuracy. Brady is a pinpoint passer, but so is Mahomes. The Chiefs’ star can dissect defenses just like his Super Bowl LV opponent. His highlight-reel plays are not for show – Mahomes can create something out of nothing like few quarterbacks in history.
The numbers reflect Mahomes’ accuracy, too. He’s had 11 interceptions in his last 29 regular season games, and a 1% interception rate in 2020. Brady has 20 interceptions over the last two regular seasons and had a 2% interception rate in his first season in Florida.
This has to go to the six-time Super Bowl winner. Brady holds a catalogue of postseason records, and he’s led 62 game-winning drives throughout his career (regular and postseason).
Mahomes has had his fair share of big-time moments already. He’s got seven game-winning drives and led the Chiefs to the largest comeback in playoff history against the Texans in last year’s playoffs.
Longevity stands against him in this category, though. It’s also worth noting that Mahomes’ clutch opportunities are limited – the Chiefs are just too good to need fourth quarter heroics most of the time.
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Brady’s career might give him the edge for now, though if you asked a defense which quarterback they’d rather defend a fourth-quarter lead against in 2021, it’s probably a toss-up. Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is unstoppable, but no one would bet against Brady.