On the night of February 12, it will be clear whether the San Francisco 49ers or the Kansas City Chiefs will win this year’s Super Bowl. We will write about both of them, but before that, we need to talk about Tom Brady. Because it’s the name on everyone’s lips.
Take a deep breath and relax – you haven’t missed anything. The legendary quarterback has not made a magical comeback and is not pulling our leg as he already did for a while in 2022.
For now, Brady is enjoying retirement. Or is he? With the Super Bowl fast approaching, he is giving anything between five to seven interviews a day, where he gets asked the same question in different variations: do you think Patrick Mahomes (28) is as good as you or even better?
The numbers are stark
Although annoying, one has to admit that such questions have a basis. This year’s Super Bowl will be Mahomes’ fourth of his career – no starter before the age of 30 has reached such a milestone before.
And it’s not just about getting to that point or being a statistician. Even someone who is rather ignorant regarding the NFL knows that Mahomes is the main man behind the fact that the Chiefs already have two Super Bowls in their back pocket and can play for a championship ring again this year.
Mahomes is currently in his sixth season as a main quarterback – he was on the bench in his debut season – and when we compare his numbers to Brady’s during the same period – he was also on the bench in his debut season and only became the main quarterback in his second season – we see the following:
Regular Season: Mahomes 72 wins, 22 losses, Brady 70 wins 24 losses
Playoffs: Mahomes 14 wins, 3 losses, Brady 12 wins, 2 losses
AFC titles: Mahomes 4, Brady 3
Super Bowl rings: Mahomes 2, Brady 3
Touchdowns/interceptions: Mahomes 258/69, Brady 167/87
QB rating: Mahomes 103.7, Brady 88.4
If you look at those numbers, the ONLY place where Brady, considered the greatest quarterback of all time, still surpasses Mahomes is in the number of Super Bowl rings. But of course that could change by the evening of February 12.
Brady gives credit to Mahomes
Of course, Mahomes still has to work hard to step up to Brady’s level – or pass him. After all, Brady has seven Super Bowl rings and ten finals to show for, not to mention countless other records.
However, the legend himself has a very chill attitude towards the comparisons. “I don’t think there’s anything that Patrick could do that would take anything away from what I’ve accomplished in my career. In the same way, nothing I do takes away from what he’s trying to achieve,” he said on The Pat McAfee Show.
“If someone can step on the field and win seven Super Bowls, I have the utmost respect for them. I love watching Patrick Mahomes play and lead his team,” added Brady.
49ers or Chiefs?
Now regarding the Super Bowl and the teams, the San Francisco 49ers are considered a slight favorite in the betting shops.
Thanks to a good regular season (12-5) and first place in the NFC conference, they were exempted in the opening round of the playoffs and had to beat the Green Bay Packers 24-21 and beat the Detroit Lions 34-31 to reach the Super Bowl.
The Kansas City Chiefs finished third in the AFC conference in the regular season (11-6) and have had to enter the playoffs three times to reach the Super Bowl.
To begin with, the Miami Dolphins were beaten 26:7 in the bitter frost – at the opening whistle the thermometer showed –20°C, then they beat the Buffalo Bills 27:24 and finally the Baltimore Ravens 17:10.
What will be decisive?
The 49ers and Chiefs also met in the final game four years ago, when the latter finished 31-20: thus bringing Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid their first championship ring. Of course, all eyes will be on Mahomes first and foremost – and in the case of the 49ers, their quarterback Brock Purdy – but in reality, the Super Bowl will be determined by other nuances.
The 49ers’ defense, which was third-best in the regular season and first in interceptions, is certainly capable of containing Chiefs’ offense that has been downright mediocre this year, but San Francisco’s main thing is still their offense. The more they can handle the ball and shave seconds off the clock, the better their chances become. Why? Because this way Mahomes is off the field…
The Chiefs may have a trump card in the form of Mahomes, but the more important question is whether their defense can catch Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 1,459 yards and 14 touchdowns this year. At the same time, it is not worth putting all the money on one horse, because focusing too much on him can be fatal in the final.
58th or 105th champion?
Although this year’s Super Bowl bears the number 58, this year will actually determine the 105th NFL champion. Namely, the American professional football league was founded in 1920, when the Akron Pros (8-0) won the main tournament.
The playoff format and final game were first introduced in 1933, and the Chicago Bears won. The current star game, the Super Bowl, came to be in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers triumphed.
Why so? Namely, in 1959, the foundation of the competing league AFL was laid in the USA. By that time, the NFL, which had existed for 39 years, did not consider the rival to be anything worrisome, but within a few years, it was clear that it was a serious challenge.
To hold on to the lucrative TV contracts and the best players, the NFL suggested the AFL, what if we continue jointly? Thus, merger talks were started in 1966, as a result of which the American Football League continued to bear the NFL name, but essentially the league was divided into two.
This is how the AFC and NFC conferences came to be, the winners of which now determine the winner of the Super Bowl at the end of each season.