A cosmic shift in the NFL world is upon us, one that hasn't been altered in nearly two decades. Tom Brady has ruled the NFL with more power than the first Galactic Empire, destroying any challenger that has even attempted to take him down as the top player in the league.
Balance is starting to happen in the force, with the new hope in Patrick Mahomes -- the one player who can challenge Brady's reign of power in the NFL. Brady took down Kurt Warner's short reign atop the NFL when he beat the two-time league MVP in Super Bowl XXXVI 19 years ago and never looked back, setting a league record with six Super Bowl titles and 10 conference championships. Brady has played in the Super Bowl 47.6% of his NFL career (10 times in 21 seasons) and 50% of his career if the 2008 season is omitted (tore his ACL in the first game of the year).
Tony Romo said it best at the conclusion of Sunday's AFC Championship Game when the Mahomes vs. Brady matchup was confirmed: "Talk about your all-time matchups. This is literally going to be like LeBron and Jordan playing in the Finals." Mahomes (LeBron) will actually get to face Brady (Jordan) and set his own mark on his quest to become the greatest football player ever. Imagine what beating Brady in a Super Bowl will do for his "GOAT" resume.
Mahomes is going to get that opportunity in Super Bowl LV -- a chance to rule the NFL for the next decade (or two). Here's what Mahomes can accomplish by beating Brady and forcing him to "pass the torch" with a Super Bowl victory:
Brady's Super Bowl feat
Tom Brady is the only quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowl titles in his first four seasons. Mahomes is just the fourth quarterback in league history to make the Super Bowl twice in his first four years (Kurt Warner and Russell Wilson) and he can join Brady as the only quarterbacks to win two Super Bowls in his first four years -- by beating Brady (who beat Warner and Wilson when they tried to accomplish the task).
Youngest QB to win two Super Bowls
Mahomes is the first quarterback in NFL history to start in two Super Bowls at the age of 25 or younger. He can became the first quarterback to win two Super Bowls at the age of 25 or younger. Brady is the youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls, winning his second Super Bowl at 26 years, 182 days old (Super Bowl XXXVIII). Mahomes will be 25 years, 143 days old if he beats Brady in Super Bowl LV (he actually has two chances to accomplish the feat).
Youngest QB to win two Super Bowl MVPs
Brady is the youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowl MVPs, capturing MVP honors after winning his first two Super Bowl titles. If Mahomes beats Brady and wins MVP, he'll be the youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls and win two Super Bowl MVPs -- all before he turns 26.
The 18-year, 45 day age difference between Brady and Mahomes will be the largest age difference among starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. Brady will be 43 years and 188 days when he starts Super Bowl LV -- the oldest quarterback to ever start a Super Bowl. Mahomes was the fifth-youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl last year (and the second-youngest to win it) and he'll be the youngest quarterback to start two Super Bowls this time. A proverbial passing of the torch with a victory.
Unless the Buccaneers and Chiefs meet again in the Super Bowl, this will likely be the final time Mahomes and Brady face off against each other, at least in the postseason. Mahomes and Brady are 2-2 in head-to-head matchups, with Brady winning their lone playoff matchup in the 2018 AFC Championship Game (a game where Mahomes didn't touch the ball in overtime).
Mahomes has the statistical edge over Brady, as the Chiefs have averaged more points per game (30.3) than the Patriots/Buccaneers (30.0) and more passing yards per game (348 to 300.5). Brady has six touchdowns to five interceptions in the matchups against Mahomes while Mahomes has 11 touchdowns to just three interceptions facing Brady.
Mahomes beat Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa in Week 12 of the regular season. He'll get another shot to beat them in Tampa again, the site of Super Bowl LV. The Buccaneers are the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in their home stadium, which is the perfect opportunity for Mahomes to beat Brady and take the mantle of the "face of the NFL" with him.
Like the Rebel Alliance infiltrating the Death Star and changing the outcome of the Galactic War, Mahomes has the chance to shift the NFL balance of power -- with him leading the new regime.