Without a doubt, two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL will continue to overlap careers on Sunday night as Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady go head-to-head for the sixth time. The two players will always be compared to one another despite their wildly different styles of play, and for both signal callers, Sunday's game represents their first meeting since Super Bowl LV.
The 27-year-old and the 45-year-old have been the two most successful quarterbacks in the league since 2018, as Mahomes (51 wins) and Brady (49 wins) have led their respective teams to the first and second-most victories in the NFL during that time. Interestingly enough, however, both players are coming off losses in Week 3.
They'll each look to get back on track this week, and overall, matchups between quarterbacks of this caliber just don't happen very often. On one hand, Brady holds an NFL-record seven Super Bowl titles and five Super Bowl MVP awards. Mahomes, meanwhile, leads the league in passing yards (19,564) and passing touchdowns (159) since 2018. Additionally, Mahomes has thrown for the most passing yards and second-most touchdowns through 66 career games in NFL history.
Simply put, matchups like this are special.
"I mean facing Tom Brady is always going to be a competitive game," safety Juan Thornhill said. "The guy is just one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time – he doesn't get that title out of nowhere."
Thornhill added that he loves seeing pressure on quarterbacks like Brady because it forces them to get rid of the ball and allows for the defense to make more plays. The numbers back up that narrative, too, as Brady is getting rid of the ball quicker than any other quarterback in the league at 2.22 seconds.
In fact, the two quarterbacks have very different styles in (or out) of the pocket, making them two totally different types of players to defend. While most teams would focus on getting Brady out of position, a lot of defenses fear Mahomes' ability to make plays out-of-position.
The Chiefs' young defense will aim to disrupt Brady's timing on Sunday while continuing their strong start to the season. Even last week, despite the loss, Kansas City recorded 10 quarterback hits and five sacks while holding Indianapolis to just 259 yards of total offense. It marked the fewest yards allowed by the Chiefs since Week 8 of the 2020 season.
A similar effort on Sunday would go a long way in a matchup that is beginning to carry the weight of one of the league's better rivalries.
"The longevity of [Brady's] great success – that's the crazy part about his career," Mahomes said. "He's never really had a 'down year'. He's always been great and had a great season, and he's always found ways to get better."
Mahomes added that it's always a great opportunity to go against a great quarterback and see where the Chiefs are really at as a team because of how intense this upcoming matchup promises to be.
Twenty-three years ago, when Brady started his career as a sixth-round pick out of the University of Michigan, Mahomes was four years old and probably preparing to go to preschool. Now, in Brady's 45th year of life, he has three kids, a wife, and – to say the least – a lot of experience.
When Mahomes was asked if he could even imagine playing football at 45-years-old, he said that he wants to play as long as he can. He added that as long as he can make the team better – and as long as he can keep his body in shape and play at a high level – he'll be out there.
For now, however, the Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season against the Colts while the Bucs are coming off their first loss of the year against the Packers. Suffice to say, both winning quarterbacks – Mahomes and Brady – are hungry to get back on the winning track.
For Mahomes, that mission continues on Sunday night.
"You've got to continue to get better," Mahomes said. "If you look back at the tape [last week], it just looks like there was [one] person who wasn't in the perfect spot [on any given play]. In this league, everyone has to be on the same page. I have to make the right reads when it's my job to make the reads. When you can get all the things together, you have big games like that first game we had."