Super Bowl LV: The quarterback matchup

In all Super Bowls, the quarterback matchup is a key factor in the game, but none more so than Super Bowl LV.

This Sunday’s game sees Tom Brady, who most see as the undisputed greatest of all time, going up against Patrick Mahomes, who many see as the most likely to challenge that title.

With two of the greatest quarterbacks we are likely to see meeting in the NFL’s season finale, there are so many questions going into the game. How have they matched up in the past?  What is at stake for each quarterback?  And how do these two impact each other’s legacies?

Past matchups

Brady and Mahomes have faced each other four times in the past – three whilst Brady played for the New England Patriots and one this season. 

Brady had the better of the first two games, including a 37-31 overtime win in the 2018/19 AFC Championship.

That win, which some would say was assisted by some refereeing decisions, saw Brady advance to his ninth Super Bowl, which the Patriots won against the Los Angeles Rams.

But Mahomes has won the previous two games, including one that took place this season.

Mahomes threw for his season-best 462 passing yards in that game, along with three touchdowns.  

Both of those wins have been statement victories for Mahomes and the Chiefs, when they were questioned at times over whether they could win the big games.

What’s at stake?

For Brady, he could continue to add to his list of ridiculous records. 

Already the most decorated individual in the history of the game, he could win his seventh Super Bowl, he could extend his record for the oldest Super Bowl winning player and could become the first player to win a Super Bowl in three different decades.

Moreover, winning a Super Bowl without his long-time coach with the Patriots Bill Belichick could well end the debate of who deserves more of the credit for their incredible dynasty in New England.

As for Mahomes, winning this Super Bowl could do wonders for his legacy.  

He would become the youngest quarterback to win back-to-back Super Bowls, just the ninth time this would be achieved should the Chiefs win. 

Mahomes looks set to become one of the all-time greats and a win here would be a major boost to his chances of challenging Brady to the title of the greatest ever.

How do they impact each other’s legacies?

This game is bigger for Mahomes than it is for Brady. 

Should Brady lose, he would still be the most decorated player of all time who has won over half of the Super Bowls he’s competed in and would lose one at the age of 43 – there isn’t much shame in that.

Mahomes is one-for-one in his Super Bowls and still has many more years and Super Bowls left, one would assume, but a win over Brady here would never be forgotten.

Some analysts, including former quarterback Tony Romo, who will provide co-commentary for the game for CBS, have said that if Mahomes were to lose this one, he could never surpass Brady as the greatest.

Whether it is fair or not, the Chiefs quarterback’s career will always be judged against Brady’s.

Having met so often in the past few years and with Mahomes having achieved so much in his first few years as a pro, his résumé will always be compared to Brady’s for as long as he plays.

Between the undisputed greatest of all time in Brady and the the most likely challenger in Mahomes, it is the latter who has the most to gain and lose in the quarterback matchup of this weekend’s Super Bowl.

You can read more about the history of the two teams and their matchups here.

Featured image: All-Pro Reels from District of Columbia, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Tom Brady) / Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Patrick Mahomes)

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