Tom Brady is gone. Patrick Mahomes is going nowhere, anytime soon.
Mahomes has work to do. He needs to win five more Super Bowls to catch Brady as the best of all time.
“Seven’s a lot, but I’ll strive to get as close as I can,” Mahomes told Peter King for his latest Football Morning in America column. “To win seven Super Bowls and be in 10 Super Bowls, it’s crazy to even think about, even for me today. The other stats kinda come with it. I knew at Texas Tech, I put up a lot of stats but didn’t win games. When I got to the NFL, I knew I wanted to be a winner [first]. Try to win Super Bowls and give my team the best that I can.”
Mahomes has won two in five seasons as a starter. The gap would be 6-3 and not 7-2 if Mahomes and the Chiefs had beaten Brady and the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. (It could be as narrow as 5-4, if Mahomes and the Chiefs had beaten Brady and the Pats in the 2018 AFC Championship.)
Mahomes has found a way to combine statistics with winning. King posted the side-by-side stats for Brady and Mahomes through their first five seasons as starters. Mahomes has won more games, thrown nearly 70 more touchdown passes and 18 fewer interceptions.
Mahomes is just starting the front end of his prime. As he said earlier in camp, he’s striving to get to the point at which he understands defenses well enough to know what’s coming before a given play starts.
So Mahomes will only get better. And the Chiefs could indeed be back to more Super Bowls.
But seven wins? They’ve yet to have one come easy. Nearly every playoff game is a fight, and in both Super Bowl victories they had to erase double-digit second-half deficits. It makes for excitement and uncertainty, which is good for football. If the Chiefs and Mahomes ever get to the point where they simply steamroll all opponents in the postseason, it will get boring.
Frankly, as Mahomes continues to improve, there’s a chance it will eventually get boring.