Brady v. Mahomes

With Tom Brady officially retired and Patrick Mahomes winning his second Super Bowl title, it’s a fitting moment to address the GOAT conversation.

by Adam Slocum

February 10th, 2023


Getty Images / NSM Illustration

With Tom Brady officially retired and Patrick Mahomes bringing home a second Super Bowl ring, it’s a fitting moment to address the status of NFL QB GOAT. The longevity of Tom’s career, particularly his incredible success over 40, will make it exceptionally difficult for anyone, even Patrick, to reach the dizzying heights of TB12’s accomplishments during his illustrious 23-year career. 

Combining regular/postseason stats, Tom compiled 286 wins, 8,953 completions, 102,614 passing yards, and 737 passing touchdowns, culminating in 10 Super Bowl appearances and 7 Super Bowl rings. As we all know, it’s an awe-inspiring legacy that poses a Herculean task for anyone to reach and surpass. However, for argument’s sake, now that Mahomes has led the Chiefs to a victory in SBLVII, and has taken home both the Super Bowl and League MVP honors, it is time for a comparison.


As of right now, the best data for making a fair comparison is to look at their first six regular seasons (exactly 80 games each). Over that period, Mahomes is superior in every key category, except Super Bowl wins:

   *Regarding awards after Year 6, Brady and Mahomes are tied with 2 Super Bowl MVPs, but Patrick has extended his lead over Tom in League MVPs, 2-0.

As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves. Clearly, Patrick is off to a much faster start. He also has the mobility, elusiveness, and improvisational acumen that Tom lacked, which adds another dimension to his greatness. However, the question remains, can he perform at a high level for 20+ years? Tom kept getting better and better as his career progressed, and his ability to get his team to the Super Bowl and win 70% of the time truly defined his greatness. If we extrapolate out 14 more seasons (I’m stopping at 20, because I don’t think 23 seasons of high performance is realistic for anyone but Tom at this point), we will find:

Based on this extrapolation of Mahomes’ career stats, Tom would still maintain his records for most completions, yards, and touchdowns. We know Patrick has the requisite talent, but only time will tell if he has enough longevity, which is what allowed Tom to become a true legend: TALENT x TIME = THE GOAT (for now).

Setting aside career statistics for a moment, it is often said that true greatness is defined by success in the playoffs and being able to win the big game. On Sunday, we saw that Mahomes has the defining level of greatness needed to compete for the status of NFL QB GOAT. After the Chiefs won on Sunday, Mahomes has now won 2 of 3 Super Bowls in only 6 years of NFL competition. He showed his toughness by coming back from an ankle injury and competing at the highest level while not being 100% physically. Lastly,  by winning Super Bowl LVII, if he goes on to play for 20 seasons at his current pace, that would put him on track for 10 Super Bowl appearances and 7 Super Bowl wins, which would tie Tom in both categories, records often considered to be untouchable.

On a totally different metric, however, no matter how impressive their competitive statistics are, the most extraordinary quality about both Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes is their humility. Despite their incredible success and global admiration, Tom always pays tribute to his parents for their love and support and Patrick always gives all the glory and thanks to God for his success. Tom lauds Patrick for his incredible talent and Patrick, in response to Tom’s retirement video, refers to him as:

However, it’s what they do off-the-field as concerned citizens and thoughtful and caring contributors to society, that truly establishes them as GOATs. They are both incredible when it comes to their positive influence on kids.



Tom lends his time and financial support to a variety of charities, such as Best Buddies International, which supports children with intellectual and developmental disabilities; Kaboom! with its mission to end play-space inequity; Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which provide safe environments where kids can learn, play and grow; Make-A-Wish Foundation, which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses; and Peyton Manning’s Peyback Foundation, which promotes the future success of disadvantaged youth. Through his TB12 regimen, Tom has also become the role model for the philosophy that “age is just a number”, by living a healthy and vigorous physical, mental, and emotional life well into one’s 40’s and beyond.



Patrick Mahomes is a family man, devout Christian, and philanthropist, giving freely of his time and money. Even at the young age of 23, he had already established his own foundation, called 15 and the Mahomies, dedicated to improving the lives of children.  Executive Director, Marques Fitch noted. “Year 3 for Patrick Mahomes’ 15 and the Mahomies Foundation was spectacular! The foundation is making sustainable change and impacting the lives of so many in the Greater Kansas City Area!” Some of the programs offered by 15 and the Mahomies include:



Clearly, when weighing the merits of which of these two athletes is the GOAT, both men are worthy of our profound admiration and respect, both on and off the field. You will soon be able to honor Tom at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH as well as appreciate both these icons for their social impact and cultural influence at the National Sports Museum, being developed in NYC.


National Sports Museum focuses on using the power of sports to advance social justice, empower diversity, equity, and inclusion, inspire personal excellence, and unite us as a nation. NSM is collaborating with leading charitable organizations and will feature up to 36 sports-themed charities and their professional athlete ambassadors in our More Than a Game exhibit, ranging from Players for the Planet, consisting of 250+ multi-sport professional athletes leading environmental sustainability initiatives to Laureus Sport for Good USA, represented by USA track & field GOAT, Allyson Felix, which improves the lives of youth and unites communities through the power of sport. This exhibit focuses on how athletes are using their platform and their financial resources to make a meaningful and lasting difference in peoples’ lives through a variety of philanthropic causes.


With a total of nine leading non-profit co-founders, NSM will be a central gathering place and welcoming environment for the American and global sports community to come together to address a multitude of social and cultural issues, all centered around sports as a unifying force.

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