What will it take for Patrick Mahomes to dethrone Tom Brady as the NFL's GOAT? The question is harder than you think

Patrick Mahomes has Tom Brady in the crosshairs. Or does he? For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl With Mahomes under center. twice NFL MVP will play third Super Bowl His career has put him legitimately on a path to dethrone Brady as the greatest player ever NFL Ever seen.

when you Compare the first six seasons Over the careers of Brady and Mahomes, the Chiefs QB leads in wins (regular season and postseason), AFC championship titles, passer rating and TD-INT ratio. The only place Brady currently holds a 3-2 lead in Super Bowl titles, Mahomes can tie with a win over the San Francisco 49ers in two weeks in Super Bowl LVII.

Naturally, that pushes the debate over whether or not he can catch Brady. Being in range is a fair conversation considering what we've seen him accomplish in his first six years as a full-time starter. However, some talking heads decree that he has already reached that mountain top, which is certainly premature. Just how far Mahomes still has to go — despite this sensational start — is worth highlighting.

Let's operate under the assumption that the Chiefs must defeat the Niners to secure Mahomes' third Super Bowl title. Congratulations, you're halfway to tying Brady's record seven Lombardi Trophies.

How do we factor this jockeying into their head-to-head matchups at all-time level? Although Mahomes matches Brady's seven, the elder statesman holds a 2-0 playoff record against him on some of the biggest stages the NFL has to offer: the 2018 AFC Championship (with the Patriots) and Super Bowl LV (with the Buccaneers).

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It's not the same situation where Brady saw Joe Montana up for this mantle or — expanding outside of football — what LeBron James was going to accomplish against Michael Jordan. Mahomes isn't chasing a ghost. These all-time greats have passed each other for a random Week 4 matchup during the regular season, but they've had do-or-die, legacy-making games and Brady swept the series.

With that in mind, Mahomes can't match Brady's title total. He needs to blow him out of the water to make up for those playoff losses, especially a head-to-head loss in Super Bowl LV.

Longevity has been Brady's biggest strength in this race for immortality, and he could prove to be Mahomes' biggest opponent as he tries to take away the title of “The Code.” Brady played for a total of 23 seasons and until he was 45 years old. Mahomes is coming off his age-28 season, which means he has plenty of room to run, which is why we're having this conversation in the first place.

But let's look at 12 more seasons to get Mahomes into his age-40 season. Below, we've added his current totals to his career averages as a full-time starter (eg Mahomes' 5,036 passing yard average from 2018-2023) and see where he stacks up in 12 years.

Regular season head-to-head

Passing yards

88,856

89,214

Passing touchdowns

687

649

completions

7,462

7,753

succeeds

222

251

If Mahomes stays in good health and plays into his age-40 season (a realistic milestone considering QBs in today's NFL), he'll get within Brady's all-time regular-season total mark, but still fall short in some areas. With that head-to-head advantage in Brady's favor, Mahomes will have to replicate his opponent to pump up those numbers and separate himself.

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From the eye test, everyone has their preference on who is the greatest quarterback they've ever seen. Some would say Brady, others would say Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach or even Mahomes. But the resume speaks for itself and currently puts the crown on Brady's head. While Mahomes is on track to eventually get there, he has a longer way to go than some realize.

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