The dust has only just settled on Super Bowl LVII and still, it’s impossible to know where to begin when trying to make sense of it all. 

Sure, the headlines will declare that a narrow 38-35 victory enabled the Kansas City Chiefs to hoist aloft the Vince Lombardi trophy at the expense of the Philadelphia Eagles, but that doesn't take into consideration the holding penalty right at the death that handed the Chiefs a significant advantage. 

Was it a controversial call? 

LeBron James, who was in attendance, certainly seemed to think so and even took to Twitter at the end of the game to announce his frustration at the referee deciding to penalize a stray James Bradberry hand on the back of JuJu Smith-Schuster.

This particular decision was one of many reasons why there was an overwhelming amount to digest when the final whistle blew at the State Farm Stadium. 

The reality is that these discussions will go on indefinitely, with fans—certainly Eagles ones at least—left to stew over the hypotheticals that could have led to the game ending in a different way.

Conversely, supporters of the Chiefs will want to relive Harrison Butker's eleventh-hour 27-yard winning field goal for the rest of time. 

Ultimately, it was Butker’s nerves of steel that handed the Chiefs their third Super Bowl win in four years which again, invites another discussion over events in Glendale, this time centering on the franchise’s dynasty and where it ranks in NFL history.

However, like the talking points about the questionable holding penalty, the Chiefs’ place in the history of the sport can also be left for another day. 

Instead, it is winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the case for him eventually surpassing Tom Brady’s status that will fall under the microscope in this analysis piece following Super Bowl LVII.

Mahomes Makes History 

Following the Chiefs’ last-gasp win at Super Bowl LVII, Mahomes was handed the MVP award for the big game owing to his match-winning performance on the night. 

Now, NFL fans will know that this accomplishment comes on the back of winning the regular season MVP award just three days before the Super Bowl was played in Arizona. 

It was a notable double as Mahomes became only the seventh player in NFL history to win both honors in the same year.

Admittedly, had the Chiefs not been on the end of some favorable officiating then the award would have gone to a player in the Eagles team who managed to influence a winning result. 

This isn’t pointed out in an effort to rake over the decisions in the dying embers of the game, but rather to reinforce the fact that Mahomes came out on top; that's what winners do, and the 27-year-old is turning into a serial one.

After all, it was his powerful pass aimed at Smith-Schuster that led to a decision having to be made by the officials on whether a foul was committed. 

Not for the first time, the quarterback was the one taking control of the game and asking questions of the opposition’s defense when it was easier to freeze with both teams tied while going head to head in the biggest game in American sports. 

These types of high-pressure situations actually seem to bring out the best in Mahomes which is why he can now boast of winning two Super Bowls with three years still to go before his 30th birthday.

The overriding conclusion which seems to have sprung up on people following the Chiefs' triumph is that Mahomes’ career numbers are tracking in a way that suggests he could be en route to greatness. 

It goes without saying that the man everyone is trying to catch is Brady but the head-to-head record of both him and Mahomes at 27 makes for captivating reading.

Brady & Mahomes at 27

In terms of the amount of Super Bowls won at the same point in their respective careers, Brady is slightly ahead given that he collected his third ring at 27 while Mahomes has just picked up his second. 

However, this is where it gets interesting as Brady would go an entire decade without winning another Super Bowl. Eventually, the floodgates did open again in quite spectacular fashion as the quarterback added four more Super Bowl wins to his name after his 37th birthday.

The two points to take away from the frequency in which Brady’s Super Bowl wins came is that there was a long drought followed by astonishing success during a time when most players would be comfortably retried—hence why the 45-year-old is referred to as the GOAT.

In essence, the question is, can Mahomes enjoy a more productive time during the next ten years of his own career by winning more than Brady did between 27 and 37?

Given the form, he is exhibiting and the fact that the Chiefs are the favorites to win Super Bowl LVIII, it would be logical to say that he well might. 

Indeed, a closer look at a page that provides a price for every eventuality including Monday Night Football predictions for the upcoming campaign shows the Chiefs to be listed at odds of just +600 to make it back-to-back Super Bowl titles. 

These NFL futures odds suggest that Mahomes' trophy-laden years could be gathering momentum.

Even if the here and now looks promising, there are fewer guarantees when Mahomes reaches 37 that he will be as successful as Brady who ripped up the script and defied the odds. 

The longevity that he showed makes him the greatest athlete to have ever played in the NFL and is ultimately why Mahomes will need to produce the best performances of his life over the next decade.

On the basis that Mahomes isn’t able to follow Brady’s superhuman efforts in the twilight of his own career, the equation would then work out to the 27-year-old needing to win six Super Bowls out of the next ten to eclipse Brady’s record of seven. 

Admittedly, when putting the size of the task into words, you can’t help but feel that Tampa's recently retired quarterback has a legacy that is untouchable.

Records Are Made to Be Broken

The counterargument would be that records are there to be broken but that old adage doesn't allow for the fact that the Chiefs may be reaching the peak of their dynasty. 

At least, how many more Super Bowls can they realistically win after the curtain comes down on the 2024 season?

It’s an important point given that Mahomes signed a ten-year contract extension with the Kansas franchise in 2020 and will, in effect, spend the most productive time of his career with the Chiefs. 

In short, the quarterback, for all of his generational talent, will still need a team around him that is capable of winning Super Bowls. 

Like any race to be crowned the greatest of a particular sport, this one is no different in the sense that there are seemingly impossible targets to be met in an insufficient amount of time.

However, the history of professional sports has shown us that the record books are regularly being rewritten with new milestones set. 

The conclusion to take away from this specific tussle for NFL greatness is that Brady’s record will inevitably fall one day, but it will take a Herculean effort from Mahomes to ensure that it is him who surpasses it. 


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