Patrick Mahomes Could Equal a Tom Brady Super Bowl Record...If He Beats Tom Brady

The 55th instalment of the Super Bowl is still two weeks away but it is already rewriting NFL history. By defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will become the first team to play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium, while Super Bowl LV will be the first in history to feature the last two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.

Tom Brady returns to the Super Bowl for a record 10th appearance and for the first time since he led the New England Patriots to a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams two years ago. Patrick Mahomes is making his second consecutive appearance in the NFL title game after being named Super Bowl MVP when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 12 months ago.

The showdown between Brady and Mahomes is only the seventh time that two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks will face each other in the final act of the season—and one of the best quarterback matchups in Super Bowl history, pitting the greatest quarterback of all time in Brady against the only player who could arguably come close to matching his legacy.

On Sunday, Mahomes joined Brady, Russell Wilson and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four seasons in the NFL. The 25-year-old will equal Brady's record as the only quarterback to win two rings over that span if the Chiefs win Super Bowl LV in Tampa on February 7.

Brady led the Patriots to wins in Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams—until this season the only time he entered the Super Bowl as underdog as the Rams were 14-point favorites—and in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers.

Warner led the Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV and returned to the big game two years later, losing to the Patriots in Brady's first Super Bowl appearance. Wilson steered the Seattle Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 2014 and 2015, beating the Denver Broncos in the former and losing to Brady's Patriots in the latter.

After a week during which his presence in the AFC Championship Game had been in doubt because of a concussion he suffered in the Divisional Round against the Cleveland Browns on January 17, Mahomes was at his sparkling best against the Buffalo Bills.

Despite dealing with a turf toe injury that had limited him against the Browns, the 2018 NFL MVP completed 29 of his 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs defeated the Bills 38-24 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Trailing 9-0 early in the game, Kansas City roared back in familiar fashion, scoring 21 unanswered points for the fourth time in their last five postseason games and keeping alive their bid to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates during the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills on January 24. The Chiefs beat the Bills 38-24 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, to reach Super Bowl LV. Jamie Squire/Getty

"We did a good job as far as rehabbing, getting myself ready to go," Mahomes said in his post-game press conference.

"I felt like I was myself out there, and we were able to go out there and score points against a really good football team."

The Bucs defeated the Packers 31-26 in Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game.

Brady completed 20 of his 36 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times in a postseason game for the first time since the Patriots lost 33-14 against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 AFC Wild Card round.

Brady has now thrown three interceptions in a playoff game four times, but has won three of those games. In 2006, the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 24-21 in the Divisional Round despite Brady's three picks and the following year New England overcame its quarterback's three interceptions to defeat the Chargers 21-12 in the AFC Championship Game.

The Bucs now return to the Super Bowl for the first time since they defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII 18 years ago.

"It's been a great journey thus far," Brady said after the game. "We put the work in. Guys just embraced everything, really, when [head coach Bruce Arians] got here last year.

"There was a lot of great things that were happening, a lot of great young players. I just made a decision. I've loved coming to work every day with this group of guys."