It now feels like ages ago when Patrick Mahomes was a rookie just trying to live up to the lofty expectations everyone had of him coming in. It’s just been five years, though, since the Kansas City Chiefs selected him as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Mahomes recently guested on the New Heights podcast with Jason and Travis Kelce. At one point in the program, the Chiefs superstar opened up about his unforgettable welcome to the NFL moment. The All-Pro QB shared his experience during his first-ever game against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots — a moment that has clearly stuck with him through the years:

“For me it was a game,” Mahomes said when asked about his favorite “oh s**t!” moment in the NFL. “It’s crazy, it was a game I didn’t even play in. It was the first game we played we go to New England on Thursday night opening. They dropped the banner, all this different type of stuff. And I remember running out in the field and being like, “Holy… This is the NFL.’

“I was in pat-and-go and I was firing. We’re not patting everybody, just lobbing them. I’m throwing 50-yard seeds down the sideline. Everybody’s like, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m pumped up and then I sat and I got to watch the game. Obviously, we had a heck of a game, Kareem hunt had a heck of a game and Alex,  and so we ended up winning that game. 

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“To me, that was the first moment of being like, ‘Man, this is the NFL.’ I watched Tom Brady my entire life. So, I’m like we’re playing Tom Brady, the New England Patriots.”

Tom Brady does have that effect on people and Patrick Mahomes clearly wasn’t immune to being starstruck the first time he saw Brady in action. Pat didn’t even play in the game, but Brady’s mere presence was enough for him to realize that he had finally made it.

Right now, though, Mahomes has firmly established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Many consider him to be Brady’s successor if and when the GOAT finally hangs it up. At this point, it’s hard to deny that Mahomes has done enough to prove that he’s worthy of staking his claim.