Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady had a fierce, albeit relatively brief, NFL rivalry. The two likely (OK, definitely) Hall of Famers met six times and split their series right down the middle with three wins apiece.
But Mahomes would probably concede that, at the end of the day, Brady got the better of their rivalry. He did, after all, topple Mahomes in both of their playoff matchups, including Super Bowl 55.
In fact, Mahomes’ all-time playoff record is 11-3, and two of those losses came from Brady-led teams. But the former certainly learned a lesson or two from the GOAT along the way.
Patrick Mahomes Continuing To Learn From Tom Brady
A recent story from Charean Williams of NBC Sports suggests that remains the case even after Brady’s retirement.
This offseason, Mahomes got a new understudy when his Kansas City Chiefs acquired Blaine Gabbert — who, for the last three years, just so happened to back up one Tom Brady.
It didn’t take long for Mahomes to tap that resource, admitting to asking his new backup plenty of questions about Brady.
“He was just backing up Tom, so I’m asking for any advice he can give me because if you’re learning from that guy, you’re learning from the right guy,” Mahomes said.
This isn’t exactly a surprising development. Someone in Mahomes’ position should want to know how the legendary Brady excelled for so long. What his practice habits were like, and his study habits, his routine, his diet, his exercise regimen…all of these are of interest for someone hoping to thrive like Brady did.
And it’s also not surprising cause it sounds like something Brady would do.
Brady, the ultimate competitor, looked for any edge he could find during his historic career. Some even accused him of, let’s say, skirting the rules. No matter your stance, there’s no denying Brady’s relentless approach or his status as the league’s all-time greatest winner.
In just five short years, Mahomes is well on his way to earning that kind of reputation.
Since 2018, Mahomes has played in five AFC Championship games, emerging victorious three times. He’s 2-1 in Super Bowls, with Super Bowl MVP hardware to go along with both victories. And that’s just team success.
You want personal accolades? How does five Pro Bowls, three All-Pro nods, and two league MVP awards sound?
Mahomes has averaged 4,848 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions during his five seasons as Kansas City’s starter.
Brady’s mantle is replete with accolades. But his early career was more about team success. And there was plenty of that. Brady’s New England Patriots won three Super Bowls in his first four seasons under center.
He was no “game manager,” so to speak, but Brady didn’t flourish statistically until later on in his career. He earned a couple of Pro Bowl nods, but his MVP awards were still a bit down the road.
Brady’s per-season averages during his first five years come out to a more modest 3,605 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Different eras, to be sure, but even then, guys like Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and even Trent Green were routinely passing for 4,000+ yards.
That’s not to downplay Brady’s achievements. He’d go on to break virtually every major passing record and emerge as the most prolific winner the sport had ever seen.
Mahomes is about a quarter of the way there. Maybe closer to a third. Regardless, he’ll need longevity and sustained excellence to warrant a legacy in line with Brady’s. But his continued efforts to get better, and to learn from his predecessor, mean it certainly isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
In fact, per another NBC Sports piece from October of last year, Mahomes has been trying to learn Brady’s tricks for some time now.
“He won’t give me all the secrets yet,” Mahomes said. “But hopefully, one day, I’ll get the secrets and can put those into my game.”
Safe to say the rest of the NFL hopes otherwise.