Passing of the torch: Patrick Mahomes overtakes Tom Brady as NFL’s best quarterback

Dec 8, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after their game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 8, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) congratulates Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after their game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

Patrick Mahomes has officially surpassed Tom Brady as the NFL’s best quarterback.

In Week 12, the Kansas City Chiefs held on in a game that was way closer than it should have been and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 on Sunday. The bigger story, however, may have been the official passing of the torch from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes as the unquestioned best quarterback in the NFL.

Mahomes put on a show in their head-to-head matchup (with a little help from Tyreek Hill), passing for 462 yards and 3 touchdowns. While Brady and the Bucs kept things close, there would be no dramatic comeback this time as the game would end with the ball in Mahomes hands while he masterfully ran out the clock and drained Tampa’s hopes.

Many may argue that Mahomes had already put Brady in the rearview mirror when it comes to being the best quarterback in the NFL last season. After all, Mahomes beat Brady head to head in the regular season and then proceeded to carry the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in 50 years. While you can certainly make that argument, there was still room for Brady’s fans to argue his case. Brady had far less weapons than Mahomes did and still gave the Chiefs a run for their money in an ugly 23-16 game last December. Mahomes had a fairly pedestrian day that day by his standards, passing for 283 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

The bottom line, then, was that the Chiefs won and Mahomes outplayed Brady, but it wasn’t a dominant performance and Brady had still won two of three games between them. Brady out-dueled him in their first epic matchup in 2018 and then, thanks to a Dee Ford offsides call, Brady was able to send Mahomes home in their only playoff matchup. That last Brady win was two years ago though, and Mahomes now has beaten Brady in their last two meetings.

The other difference in Sunday’s game can be observed in the player performances. Mahomes put on a show, and while Brady deserves credit for having a pretty good game and keeping the Bucs in it, there was simply no doubt who the better quarterback was on this day. Take a look at their stat lines from Sunday afternoon:

Mahomes: 37-49, 462 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 28 yards rushing
Brady: 27-41, 345 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, -1 yard rushing

Not only did Mahomes put up better all-around numbers, he avoided Brady’s crippling interceptions. Mahomes was finally the one who was able to deny Brady a chance to win the game with mature execution on the final drive through timely scrambles and a few key throws.

Brady is still the unquestioned GOAT when it comes to career accomplishments. Mahomes has a long way to go before he can make any of those claims, but there is simply no longer a case for Brady fans to make about which quarterback is greater in the present That case is closed. Brady has a great arsenal of weapons, but he simply isn’t on Mahomes’ level. That’s not to say that Brady isn’t still a good quarterback and that he doesn’t have a chance to make a run with the Buccaneers in the playoffs this year, but he just isn’t the top dog anymore.

Just in case you’re curious, here’s how their season stats stack up after the game on Sunday:

Mahomes: 68.8% completions, 8.3 yards/attempt, 317.9 yards/game, 30 TDs, 2 INTs (in 11 games)
Brady: 64.8% completions, 7.0 yards/attempt, 275 yards/game, 28 TDs, 11 INTs (in 12 games)

Again, much like the game on Sunday, Brady’s numbers are good, but they aren’t as good as Mahomes.

Finally, just to get the big picture, let’s look at how their stats look since Mahomes became the starter at the beginning of the 2018 season.

Mahomes: 66.8% completions, 8.5 yards/attempt, 307.9 yards/game, 106 TDs, 19 INTs
Brady: 63.7% completions, 7.1 yards/attempt, 266.2 yards/game, 81 TDs, 30 INTs

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Brady’s numbers are good, Mahomes’ are better. Plus Mahomes has the added ability to scramble that Brady doesn’t have. They both have one Super Bowl win in that time span, but Mahomes actually has more playoff wins and a better team record overall during that same time frame.

Tom Brady may be the greatest quarterback of all time in terms of his career accomplishments, but there is simply no longer any question about who the best quarterback in the NFL is currently. It’s Patrick Lavon Mahomes II. Period.

Next. Understanding the supremacy of Patrick Mahomes. dark