Take a look around the internet and you’ll find experts assessing all kinds of matchups for Super Bowl LV. But when it comes down to it, there is only one battle that really matters: Tom Brady against Patrick Mahomes. It is the battle of youth against experience, bringing the greatest of all time, at the ripe old age of 43, up against the young pretender to his throne, at a mere 25.
The outcome of this shoot out will surely be the one that ultimately decides where the Vince Lombardi Trophy ends up. Those who fancy a flutter on the game will find the Chiefs are favorites with the bookmakers, with the consensus being an advantage of between three and four points.
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Youth vs experience
There could be no starker contrast between the two players. Brady is a veteran of 19 seasons, making the playoffs in 18 of those, the Conference Championship in 14, and now the Super Bowl for the tenth time.
Meanwhile, Mahomes is in just his third full season, yet he has taken his team to the Conference game in each one, losing to Brady’s Patriots in 2018 before winning in 2019 and again this year. 14 Conference games from 19 attempts may be an impressive 74%, but Mahomes’ record is an unblemished 100%.
Tampa Bay turnaround
Brady has certainly made his mark with the Bucs, having moved from a lifetime at the Patriots. Arriving at the team with the worst all-time winning percentage in the NFL, he turned a 7-9 season last year into a wildcard winning 11-5, with 4,633 yards and 40 touchdown passes. He then saw off two of the NFL’s other quarterback legends, Drew Brees and Aaron Rogers, in the playoffs on the way to his tenth Superbowl.
Last year’s NFL MVP, Mahomes finished his regular season with similar stats, posting 4740 yards and 38 touchdowns and leading the Chiefs to a 14-2 season. The major difference was that Mahomes also rushed for 308 yards, perhaps showing that he has a little more in his legs than the old man, who managed just 6 rushing yards all season.
Of course, rushing has never been Brady’s forte, with a career total of just 1043 yards in 19 seasons, compared to Mahomes’ 808yards in just three.
The three-point difference predicted by the bookmakers reflects the teams’ only regular-season matchup, last November. The Chiefs traveled to Tampa, just as they will for the first-ever home Super Bowl in history, and came away with the spoils, winning 27-24. That said, the Bucs did pull back from 17-0 down, giving the Chiefs a scare as well as the taste of their own legendary comeback medicine.
Who can forget the incredible reversal at last year’s Super Bowl, when the Chiefs came from 10-20 down with just over six minutes to go, to win 31-20? Such remarkable rescues have become something of a Chiefs trademark, with them also coming back from 24-0 against the Texans in last year’s divisional playoffs and from nine or more points down in four of their last five playoff games.
Favoritism means nothing when it comes to the Super Bowl, and with such a slender points prediction, it really could be anyone’s game. Will the vast experience of Brady outweigh the youthful belief of Mahomes?
Will the Chief’s habit of winning triumph over a team that hasn’t won the Superbowl since Brady was a new kid himself in 2002? Or will it be someone else entirely who makes the difference and earns the coveted Super Bowl MVP crown? These are the questions that millions across America, and around the world, will be tuning in on February 7th to find out.