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“At the age of 28, the legendary Patrick Mahomes is set to make his fourth Super Bowl start in Las Vegas, a remarkable feat that establishes a record for the most Super Bowl starts by any quarterback before turning 30. Mahomes also boasts an impressive tally of 14 playoff wins, putting him in a tie for the third-highest number by any quarterback in NFL history.”

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After the Kansas City Chiefs shut down the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game to book another trip to the Super Bowl, social media was buzzing about Taylor Swift Patrick Mahomes —

 

 

specifically, where he ranks all-time among quarterbacks. It’s a legitimate question, even though he has played just seven years in the NFL and just six as a starter. What Mahomes has done in that short time — individually and with his team — absolutely places him in the conversation with the greats.

 

Mahomes, 28, will make his fourth Super Bowl start in Las Vegas, the most for any quarterback before the age of 30. He has 14 playoff wins, tied for the third most by any quarterback. (Only Tom Brady, with 35, and Joe Montana, with 16, have more.)

 

 

He has led Kansas City to six straight AFC championship games and two Super Bowl titles, earning MVP honors in both wins. Mahomes also was the league MVP in 2018 and 2022. Only Brady and Montana have also won at least two Super Bowls while claiming two Super Bowl MVP trophies and two regular season MVP awards.

 

Kansas City has a chance to become the ninth back-to-back Super Bowl champion in NFL history and the first since the New England Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.It’s Brady, the quarterback of those Patriots teams, who stands in the way of Mahomes being considered the greatest quarterback of all time. But after digging a bit deeper into their careers, it should be clear that Mahomes’s case can’t be easily dismissed.

 

 

For example, Mahomes has clearly been a better passer than Brady during the regular season to this point in his career. Comparing their first six seasons as starters, Mahomes averages more passing yards per game and has a higher completion rate, a higher passer rating and a lower sack rate than Brady. To be fair,

 

Mahomes is playing during a time when teams are passing more often, but even after adjusting for that, Mahomes comes out well ahead of Brady. During the first six seasons Brady was a starter, the league-average passer rating was 80.1 and Brady’s rating was 88.4. Over the same period for Mahomes, his passer rating was 103.7 compared with a league average of 91.0. (Mahomes has the second-best career passer rating in NFL history, a fraction below that of Aaron Rodgers.)

 

 

Any conversation about the best quarterback of all time must acknowledge Brady’s postseason success, which in many corners supersedes everything else. But that argument rests on longevity and accumulated excellence. In a game-by-game playoff comparison, Mahomes does just fine.

 

During Brady’s first 17 playoff starts, his performance was worth an estimated five points more per game than we would expect based on the down, distance and field position of each play, per TruMedia. Mahomes was worth almost 10 more points per game than expected over his first 17 playoff starts, meaning he has been nearly twice as valuable as Brady during those first 17 playoff appearances despite both men compiling 14-3 records.

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