Sunday’s meeting between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV isn’t the first meaningful battle the two have squared off in. Their first major duel came in the 2018 AFC Championship when Brady and the Patriots took down the Chiefs in overtime to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.
The 2018 season was Mahomes’ coming out party to the rest of the league as he was handed the keys to the organization that season. It was clear that he and the Chiefs were destined to do big things in the coming years, which they did by winning the Super Bowl over the 49ers the very next season, and a visit from Brady after that heartbreaking loss in the AFC Championship had an impact on Mahomes’ jump into the spotlight.
On Monday, Mahomes shared that Brady’s surprise visit into the Kansas City locker room after he just ended the Chiefs season was encouraging and meant a lot to him.
“It was important because it showed I was doing things the right way,” Mahomes said, according to ESPN. “As a young quarterback in this league, you show up early and you try to put in the time and put in the work. … Him saying that he respected what I was doing and how I was playing on the field and the type of person I was, it kind of put a stamp on me that I needed to go in and even be better in order to get to the Super Bowl.”
Mahomes – who is 18 years younger than Brady – also talked about how he grew up watching him and that he admires many aspects of his game.
“The way he’s able to dissect defenses before the snap is something I truly admire. I’m trying to get to that level. The way he’s able to move within the pocket and be able to reset his feet and be completely calm and still make the throw right on the money no matter who’s around him is something I can continue to work on. As I continue in my career, I’m just going to try to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he’s doing it the right way. You can tell by how many Super Bowl championships he has and the rings on his fingers.”
Mahomes will be looking to win back-to-back Super Bowls on Sunday, something Brady has managed to do only once in his career after leading the Patriots to rings in 2003 and 2004.