The 2020 NFL season has officially concluded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being crowned Super Bowl Champions for the second time in franchise history by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. In this crushing defeat, Tampa Bay’s defense simply overwhelmed an injury-plagued Chiefs’ offensive line, as they totaled an astounding 38 pressures on quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In a game that solidified Tom Brady as the greatest to ever do it (zero debate), Patrick Mahomes was given a blessing in disguise.
Hold the Line!
Before breaking down the reason as to why Patrick Mahomes had to lose against the Brady-led Buccaneers, we need to understand how the Kansas City Chiefs lost, and it begins with the makeup of their offense. We all love the speed that the Chiefs bring in the passing game with Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and others, but there’s a major flaw that all deep threat receivers have, and it was on full display against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Relying on your speed can backfire. Deep threat receivers make their living by being the fastest players on the field, but they typically have average catching skills and severely lack the ability to make plays when facing contact. To make things even worse. deep threat receivers are also typically poor route runners as well. One or two can be vital for an NFL team, as you always need someone to stretch the field, but it’s a recipe for disaster when it’s the makeup of all of your receivers. As expected, the Buccaneers secondary simply played off the line of scrimmage, not allowing the speedy wideouts to leave them in the dust, and then they jammed them down the field, rendering them completely useless. While Mahomes was waiting for his speed demons to find an opening in the lockdown coverage, he faced the most destructive pass rush in the NFL in 2020 without several starting offensive linemen. Now, take the poor receiving and blocking performance, and add it to the undisciplined play on defense, and you have a Kansas City Chiefs team that lost before the end of the first quarter. The Chiefs let their frustrations get to them and it came out in the form of countless penalties (11 total). While Patrick Mahomes definitely did not deserve to be manhandled like he was, we all deserved to see more from a team that was the defending champion and went 14-2 on the season.
Too Much Too Soon
There’s nothing wrong with Patrick Mahomes achieving appraisal as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but at just 25-years old, it’s downright ridiculous for him to already be proclaimed as one of the greatest of all time. Mahomes needed this loss to be humbled and to be put into his place in the NFL. He’s absolutely the face of the league in the future, but Tom Brady is that dude now, and by dominantly winning Super Bowl LV, he’s proven that he’s not going anywhere. Patrick Mahomes is still incredibly young to be a starter in the NFL, as he’s just 25-years old. To put it into perspective the average age of starting quarterbacks in the 2020 season was 29.7-years old, and of the quarterbacks under 30, there are a total of 5 Super Bowl appearances and one championship ring. Mahomes accounts for two of those appearances and the lone ring. He’s achieved 3x Pro-Bowl appearances (2018, 2019, 2020), First-Team All-Pro honors (2018), NFL MVP (2018), and Super Bowl MVP (2019). Could he become one of the best to do it if he maintains this astounding pace? There’s no reason why he couldn’t. However, Tom Brady showed on Sunday that Patrick Mahomes is far from being in the G.O.A.T. conversation. It’s a long road, and he’s only started his journey. We can give him props now, and talk about his potential, but to say Patrick Mahomes is the greatest to do it based on three years is impossible.
We Built Chip City
There’s an important aspect of the G.O.A.T. conversation in sports that we need to focus on, and it has to do with the word ‘greatest’ because this label is being thrown around like snowballs when it snows in Texas. Many believe that the greatest player and the best player mean the same thing: being the most skilled player to ever grace the game. This is a significant misconception, though, as that could not be further from the truth. There’s a massive gap between the greatest and the best quarterback and it boils down to legacy. Simply put, three years as a starter isn’t long enough to build a legacy. It took Tom Brady 21-NFL seasons, 14x Pro-Bowl appearances, 3x All-Pro honors, 3x NFL MVP awards, 10 Super Bowl appearances, 7 Super Bowls, 4 Super Bowl MVPs, 79,204 passing yards, 581 touchdowns, 230 wins, 69 losses, and creating the TB12 diet to become the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Not to mention that he’s still kicking at age 43-years young and is looking to add onto his career numbers and his number of Super Bowls. As incredible as Patrick Mahomes has been, he’s been getting too much praise and people have forgotten what it took to be the greatest. It takes a minimum of seven Super Bowls to contend with Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback of all-time. As insane as Mahomes is, he won’t be able to hold Brady’s jockstrap until he has more rings than fingers.