When Patrick Mahomes takes the field this week, it will mark just his second Super Bowl appearance and if things go right for the Chiefs quarterback, he can accomplish something on Sunday that Tom Brady still hasn't pulled off in nine Super Bowl appearances.
Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards per game this year (316.0 yards per game) and if the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers, he'll become just the third quarterback in league history to win the passing title and a Super Bowl in the same season. Despite the fact that the NFL has turned into a passing league, it's still almost unheard of for the league's most prolific passer to win the Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, in the 54-year history of the game, there have only been two occasions where the quarterback who averaged the most passing yards per game during the regular season also won the Super Bowl.
It's been 32 years since anyone new has joined that exclusive club, but that could change on Super Bowl Sunday if Mahomes and the Chiefs can beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Kansas City wins, the 25-year-old would join Joe Montana and Ken Stabler as the only other quarterbacks in NFL history to lead the league in passing yards per game in a year where they also won the Super Bowl.
In 1989, Montana was named NFL MVP after leading the league with 270.8 passing yards per game. In Super Bowl XXIV, Montana went off against the Broncos throwing for 297 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-10 win, which is still the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history.
The other quarterback to accomplish this feat was Stabler, who pulled it off with the Raiders. During the 1976 season, Stabler led the league with 228.1 yards passing per game. In the Super Bowl XI that year, Stabler threw for 180 yards and a touchdown in a 32-14 win over the Vikings.
The fact that this list is so short is somewhat surprising and that's because prolific passers like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have dominated the NFL over the past 15 years and you'd think that at least one of them would have pulled this off, but they haven't.
Brady led the NFL in passing yards per game during the Patriots' 16-0 season of 2007, but he didn't win the Super Bowl (The Patriots got upset by the Giants). Brady also led the NFL in passing yards per game in 2017, but he ended up losing to the Eagles in the Super Bowl that year, which means be's 0-2 in Super Bowls where's he's had a chance to join this list.
Although Brees has led the NFL in passing yards per game a total of six times in his career, he didn't lead the NFL in 2009 when the Saints won the Super Bowl. As for Manning, he had a chance to join the club in 2013 when he led the NFL in passing yards per game, but his Broncos team got smoked by the Seahawks 43-8 in Super Bowl XLIX.
If the Chiefs win, they'll become the first team in NFL history to average 300 or more pass yards per game in the regular season and then win the Super Bowl. The 2011 Giants averaged 295.4 passing yards per game, which is the highest for any team that's won the Super Bowl.
One interesting note about all of this is that the NFL's actual passing yards leader has NEVER won the Super Bowl and that streak will continue this year. Although Mahomes led the league in passing yards per game, he didn't play in Week 17, which allowed Deshaun Watson to win the passing yards title.
In 1989, Montana missed three games, which paved the way for Packers quarterback Don Majkowski to lead the league in passing yards. In 1976, Stabler missed two games, which allowed Baltimore Colts quarterback Bert Jones to sneak in and steal the passing crown.