Tom Brady had two Super Bowl rings by the time he was 26 years old.
Patrick Mahomes will have two Super Bowl rings should he beat Brady and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55.
Mahomes won’t turn 26 until Sept. 17.
And the point here is this:
Given his otherworldly gifts, given that he plays for a Hall of Fame head coach in Andy Reid who is signed through the 2022 season, and an elite GM in Brett Veach, Mahomes is the one quarterback, the only quarterback, capable of being Dynasty’s Darling.
It is why Super Bowl 55 is the Legacy Game for Patrick Mahomes.
The 43-year-old Brady long ago secured his everlasting legacy.
The Baby GOAT burns to leave a similar legacy. He still will have a legacy to stand on if he falls, but it will be that much more difficult for him to graze with the GOAT in the history books.
It is unimaginable to think that what Brady and Bill Belichick accomplished together in the salary-cap era can one day be repeated.
Until you watch Patrick Mahomes play.
But for Mahomes to threaten the historic championship run that has made Brady the GOAT, this looms as a must win Super Bowl for him.
A Kill Two Birds With One Stone Super Bowl: win his second, and prevent Brady from winning his seventh at the same time.
You can’t be the next Tom Brady if you fail to beat this Tom Brady right now.
Baby steps for now for the Baby GOAT. Mahomes can join a join a group of eight quarterbacks who have won two Super Bowls: Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, Jim Plunkett, Bob Griese, Roger Staubach and Bart Starr. Troy Aikman won three. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana won four.
Aikman was 29 when he won his third. He won one more playoff game and, following what he believed could have been an eighth concussion, Aikman retired at 34. Bradshaw was 31 when he won his fourth. The Steelers grew old, and Bradshaw fractured his big toe before 1981 training camp and retired at 35. Montana was 33 when he won his fourth. Following elbow surgery, he played two years with for the Chiefs and retired at 38.
Brady himself would admit that you need a heaping helping of luck to win six Super Bowl championships — see the Tuck Rule game in the snow against the Raiders … see Pete Carroll ignoring Marshawn Lynch at the Patriots 1-yard line and Malcolm Butler intercepting Russell Wilson … see Julian Edelman making that insane catch during Brady’s comeback from the 28-3 deficit against the Falcons. (Of course, Brady was victimized by David Tyree’s Helmet Catch, too).
So the road to Bradyville can come to a screeching halt at any given time.
But there are reasons why the Chiefs locked up Mahomes with that 10-year, $503 million extension, with $477 million in guarantee mechanisms, last July. His is the dream face of any and every franchise.
“We’re chasing a dynasty,” Mahomes announced to Chiefs Kingdom.
And it isn’t only his magic right arm, and the no-look passes straight out of the Magic Johnson book. It is his je ne sais quoi, his joie de vivre (if you’ve pardoned my English all these years, you’ll pardon my French now).
It is his natural-born leadership and how much his teammates love playing with him, and believe in him so much that no deficit is insurmountable. It is how he makes everyone around him better. It is how much Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy trust in him.
It is his endearing persona and gym-rat passion. It is how much he loves the competition, how driven he is to be great. It is the respect he has for others and the way he treats people. He doesn’t big-time anyone, media included.
“I’m going out there and being the same person and same athlete that I’ve been since Day 1,” Mahomes said after he signed his record deal. “It’s never been about the money to me. It’s been about going out there and having success and building a legacy and doing it the right way.”
He has been true to his word.
When he sat down for Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp before the 2017 draft, Mahomes told Gruden there was no chance he would go back to playing baseball.
“I loved playing it when I was younger, growing up around it, I always thought I was going to be a professional baseball player. … But it’s like when I started playing football, I didn’t even know what love was. I fell in love with football hard.”
I would bet you that he will do everything in his power, same as Brady, to play into his 40s.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians was asked during the week about Mahomes following in Brady’s championship footsteps.
“I think there’s so much that goes into that,” Arians said. “There are 21 other guys on your team. If it was a throwing contest, hell yeah, he’s going to get it. But, there’s a lot of things that happen in different seasons, and what Tom has done is historic.
“There’s no doubt that if there was a player who could do it, it would be Patrick.”
The Legacy Game, for Destiny’s Darling.