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Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen will meet for the seventh time on Sunday, and the first time in the playoffs since the 42-36 overtime thriller won by Kansas City two years ago.

The numbers don't lie. This is easily the best QB rivalry since Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, who last met in the 2015 AFC title game. Here's the other rivalries that have taken place since that last meeting. 



Drew Brees vs. Matt Ryan 

Brees 14-9

Joe Flacco vs. Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger 12-7

Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger

Brady 9-3

Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees 

Brees 5-3

Cam Newton vs. Russell Wilson

Wilson 6-2

Philip Rivers vs. Ben Roethlisberger 

Roethlisberger 4-3

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes

Tied 3-3

Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning

Manning 3-2

Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers 

Brady 3-2

Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes

Tied 3-3

Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes 5-1

Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes 

Mahomes 3-1

Joe Burrow vs. Patrick MahomesBurrow 3-1

Nothing comes close to Brady-Manning quite like Mahomes-Allen. It could be one of the best QB rivalries ever.

Here's five reasons why:

1. Quality and quantity

They meet a lot and their head-to-head battles are incredible. That meets the basic standard of any great rivalry. This is the seventh time they've met in the last four years, despite not playing in the same division! Sound familiar? They join Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady as the only QB rivalry from different divisions to meet seven times in a four-year span. 

Mahomes vs. Allen is also the only QB rivalry to ever meet three times in the playoffs before each QB turned 29. So no QB rivalry has met this many times in the postseason this early in their careers.

The series is tied 3-3 too, and both QBs have put up video game numbers. They've combined for 3,945 yards passing and rushing in their six meetings. Only one QB rivalry has ever racked up more yardage in their first six meetings: Drew Brees vs. Matthew Stafford.

2. Best QBs in NFL in last four years

This rivalry is also top notch because these are the two best QBs in the NFL since their head-to-head matchups began in 2020.

For the last four years nobody comes close to the production put up by Mahomes and Allen. They rank one-two in QB wins, total touchdowns and yards in that span, by a mile. Allen hasn't won an MVP yet, but Mahomes and Allen have finished top three in MVP voting twice, in 2020 and 2022. 

Allen is also the only QB in NFL history with 40 total touchdowns in four straight seasons. 

Most QB wins since 2020

  • 1. Patrick Mahomes: 50
  • 2. Josh Allen: 48
  • 3. Lamar Jackson: 39

Most total TD since 2020

  • 1. Josh Allen: 174
  • 2. Patrick Mahomes: 151
  • 3. Justin Herbert: 125

Most pass/rush yards since 2020

  • 1. Patrick Mahomes: 20,454
  • 2. Josh Allen: 20,002
  • 3. Justin Herbert: 18,134

3. Historic careers

Mahomes (2.4) and Allen (2.3) rank one-two in NFL history in terms of total touchdowns per game. Mahomes is already one of the top five or 10 best QBs of all time, if he retired today. He is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards per game. 

You'd be hard-pressed to find a QB who puts up video game numbers quite like Allen. He already surpassed Mahomes for the most total touchdowns (221) through six seasons in NFL history.  

4. Historic playoff numbers

Those gaudy numbers have carried over into the postseason, too. Mahomes is tied with Brady for the most QB playoff wins before turning 30 ever (12) and Allen is the only QB to average 250 yards passing per game and 50 yards rushing per game in playoff history (min. 5 games).

5. Epic game

In case you need reminding, the last couple of matchups between Allen and Mahomes have been amazing, including the Chiefs' 42-36 overtime win in 2021, perhaps the best playoff game in NFL history.

  • The Bills and Chiefs combined for 31 points after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, the most in playoff history.
  • Allen and Mahomes combined for four go-ahead touchdown passes in that span while going 15 of 20 passing for 290 yards.
  • It's the only game in NFL history, regular season or postseason, where both QBs had 300 yards passing, three TDs passing, zero interceptions and 50 yards rushing.
  • Mahomes led an OT-forcing drive that started with 13 seconds left in regulation. It was the latest start time for a game-tying or go-ahead drive in playoff history.

And the rivalry would be even better if Travis Kelce's lateral for a touchdown to Kadarius Toney in Week 14 had not been called back on Toney's offside penalty. That would have gone down as one of the best plays in league history and added another thrilling chapter to this rivalry.

Even without it, Mahomes vs. Allen has everything an all-time great rivalry should have (besides maybe a Super Bowl for Allen). It's a dead-locked series between the best QBs in the NFL who have met many times and delivered masterful performances on the biggest stages. Their styles of play are also absolutely electrifying and should lead to another epic showdown on Sunday.

In the words of Bart Scott, can't wait!