When the Chiefs and the Buccaneers go head-to-head in Week 12, we'll revisit the same scenario that we've fortunately been able to experience in years past: potentially the greatest quarterback the game has ever seen going against the man who could eventually supplant him for that title.
Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes.
Their first clash came in Week 6 of 2018 — the year that Mahomes eventually won league MVP and Brady came away with his sixth Super Bowl ring — when New England's running game was too much for Mahomes' four-touchdown performance to overcome, as the Patriots won 43-40. The second came in that year's AFC Championship, when the Patriots got the best of the Chiefs en route to a Super Bowl clash against the Rams, thanks (again) to a dominant New England rushing performance.
But most recently, in Week 14 of the 2019 season, Mahomes finally defeated Brady and the Patriots in a 23-16 defensive battle. Their fourth matchup is on the horizon as the two will butt heads on Sunday afternoon, but things will look a little bit different, as Brady leads a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, not a New England Patriots unit, gunning to take down Mahomes' Chiefs.
Brady, now 43 years old, is doing things that other quarterbacks that age have never accomplished before, and Mahomes was asked about where he saw himself once he reached that 43-year-old point in his career.
"The plan is to still be playing football," Mahomes said on "The Drive" on Monday. "So, hopefully I'll be able to be doing that."
From their age 23 to age 25 seasons — note that Mahomes is still in the middle of his final year in that span — the statistical contrasts lean heavily in favor of Mahomes, whose trajectory is unlike anything we've seen at the position to this point.
With that said, Mahomes clearly has a lot of work left in order to really place himself in the G.O.A.T. quarterback discussion, which is nothing against him but is just due to the fact that he's so young. The fact that he even warrants consideration at this point should tell you just how special he is.
But for him, individual accomplishments don't mean as much as the importance of team success and winning championships, which is an aspect of Brady's game that he respects.
"You want to win as many championships as possible, and he's done that for his entire career and he's still playing great football on a great football team," Mahomes said. "For me, it's about coming in day in and day out and trying to better myself and finding a way to win championships in Kansas City, and hopefully I can win a lot of them and try to catch the amount of titles and championship games that he's been in."
With one MVP award and one Lombardi Trophy under his belt, Mahomes knows which one he prefers.
"You obviously want to win (the MVP award) at the end of the year, but for me it's not something that's extremely important," Mahomes said. "You just want to win football games... and you want to win the Super Bowl.
"...That Super Bowl trophy feels a lot better from experience."