Patrick Mahomes is not human. The Kansas City Chiefs star added to his growing legend after besting the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl 57. The win gave him his second ring in his young career, and will surely not be the last, based on how he’s playing. It was one hell of a performance from a guy who suffered an ankle injury less than a month ago… and reinjured that same ankle during the game.
Already, there are some people talking about Patrick Mahomes supplanting Tom Brady as the NFL’s GOAT (or Greatest of All Time) player. The recently retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has a long list of personal and team accolades that makes him the GOAT. Anyone saying that Mahomes has surpassed him now cannot be trusted… but it’s certainly possible that he does that in the future. What does Mahomes need to do to be the greatest of all-time?
More Championships for Patrick Mahomes
With the Chiefs’ win against the Eagles in Super Bowl 57, Patrick Mahomes now has two championships rings on him. Amongst QBs, even winning one is a rare feat on its own. Some of the greatest QBs of all-time only manage to win one (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees). Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, like Mahomes, have two. It’s already hard to get one ring: doing so twice is ridiculously difficult. Mahomes has done this incredible task in just his fourth year.
This is already a Hall of Fame-worth career for Patrick Mahomes. To take his GOAT case to the next level, though, he’ll need to come close to Tom Brady’s absurd seven-ring total. The next closest QB to him is Joe Montana… with 4. If the Chiefs star wants to have a sniff at the GOAT conversation, he’ll have to overtake Montana’s ring count first before targeting Brady. That’s easier said than done: just ask the many other star QBs that only have one ring… or none at all.
Mahomes does have the benefit of having more time than the other QBs that have tried to challenge Brady. Peyton Manning won his second ring towards the twilight of his career. Aaron Rodgers won the Super Bowl again after winning it early in his career. The same goes for Brees. Mahomes, on the other hand, is on track to have more elite seasons if he doesn’t get injured. That brings us to our next point, which is…
What makes Tom Brady’s GOAT case so unbreakable? It’s easy to point at the seven rings on his fingers and call it a day. However, there’s one more aspect of Brady’s career that puts him above everyone else: longevity.
Many players and QBs in the NFL have played close to or more than twenty seasons in the league like Brady. There are also other players that have played close to Brady’s level for a season or two. No one, though, has managed to match Brady’s incredible consistency year after year. QBs typically fall off once they hit the late 30s stage of their career. Tom Brady still had an MVP season at age 44, and won a Super Bowl at 43. That’s just ridiculous.
That part of Brady’s career is what Patrick Mahomes needs to overcome to become the GOAT of the NFL. You could argue that right now, the Chiefs star is so clearly better than Brady was during his prime (which is basically the latter’s entire career). He’s definitely more entertaining to watch, but he also has the same precision and touch for the game that made Brady dangerous. However, only time will tell if he can keep up this torrid pace for more than 15 years.
Is it possible for Mahomes to overtake Brady?
The short answer is: yes, Patrick Mahomes has the chops and the drive to replace Tom Brady as the GOAT in a few years time. This season, his Chiefs weren’t supposed to be contenders: they just lost star WR Tyreek Hill, and teams from their division and outside them got better. Despite that, Mahomes put KC on top of the AFC, and then battled through an injured ankle to win the Super Bowl. That’s an all-time performance from him.
While it’s possible for Patrick Mahomes to be the GOAT, though, that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. Countless other players have tried to challenge Brady’s GOAT claim. None of them were able to make a serious dent on his case. The ex-Patriots and Buccaneers QB simply has an insane body of work that’s hard to overcome.
Super Bowl appearances aren’t always guaranteed, especially in the hellscape that is the AFC. Teams like the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and even some of their division rivals are always lurking as potential threats to the Chiefs dynasty. There’s also the matter of injury luck: a GOAT-level career could easily be derailed by a catastrophic injury that changes the player completely. And sometimes, you might simply get unlucky.
The road to the GOAT status is not going to be easy for Mahomes. If there’s anyone who is up to the task, though, it’s definitely the Chiefs star.