The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Somebody Tell Nick Wright That Patrick Mahomes Will Never Be the GOAT

Posted on | February 4, 2022 | Comments Off on Somebody Tell Nick Wright That Patrick Mahomes Will Never Be the GOAT

The retirement this week of Tom Brady gives me another excuse (as if I needed one) to rub salt in Nick Wright’s fresh wounds. If you don’t understand why I despise Nick Wright, you can read all about it here, but the main point is that Nick is a shameless homer for the Kansas City Chiefs, which impairs his objectivity vis-a-vis my boy Mac Jones and the New England Patriots. Because of his bias, as a KC native, Wright wants to believe that the Chiefs are poised to become an NFL “dynasty” similar to the Patriots’ two-decade dynasty under Coach Bill Belichick, and that Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes can supplant Tom Brady as the “GOAT” (greatest of all time). But that’s never going to happen.

Brady and Mahomes are two very different types of quarterbacks. Brady is a classic dropback passer, while Mahomes is an improvisational genius whose scrambling ability makes him one of the best running QBs in the league. After four seasons as KC’s starter, Mahomes already has more rushing yards (1,189) than Brady had in his entire 20-year career (1,124).

This fact is the biggest reason why Mahomes is unlikely to replace Brady as the GOAT. Brady won a record seven Super Bowls, and four of those (beginning with Super Bowl XLIX in 2015) he won after he turned 37. In other words, a major reason Brady won more Super Bowls than anyone else is because he lasted longer in the NFL than anyone else, and a quarterback isn’t likely to still be playing in his 40s if he’s always running around the way Mahomes does. Football rules protect a quarterback as long as he’s behind the line of scrimmage passing, but once he runs downfield, he’s just another runner, and that involves a heightened risk of injury. Besides which, even if Mahomes can avoid getting his knees wrecked in one of his wild downfield runs, running ability tends to decline with age. Even the greatest running back in NFL history, Emmitt Smith, only lasted 15 years in the league, and didn’t top 1,000 yards in his last three seasons. Insofar as his mobility and speed make Mahomes exceptional, nobody (not even Nick Wright) could imagine he’s still going to be outrunning linebackers when he’s 35.

Look, I understand the “excitement” factor with Mahomes, who has a seemingly miraculous way of extending plays even after the pocket collapses and all his receivers are covered, but age will take its toll, and there is no way the Chiefs QB, now 26, can keep doing that forever. Bottom line, if Mahomes aspires to win more Super Bowls than Tom Brady, he needs to get his streak rolling now, and not be choking in the playoffs the way he choked Sunday against the Bengals.

Did I mention it’s hard to win Super Bowls? Think of everything that has to happen just right for a team to even make it to a Super Bowl — first, you have to win enough regular season games to qualify for the playoffs (14 out of 32 NFL teams, a 44% chance), but then except for the top seed in each conference, you have to win three games (wild card round, divisional playoffs, conference championship) to reach the Super Bowl. One loss in the playoffs and you’re out, as Nick Wright learned to his everlasting mortification Sunday. Only two of the 32 teams in the league play in the Super Bowl, and only one can win, so that 1/32nd chance is always a long-shot. This is why the fact Tom Brady won it seven times is so amazing. At age 27, Brady had already won three Super Bowls.

Patrick Mahomes has won one Super Bowl, and will turn 27 this September. It’s possible Mahomes might have won another Super Bowl, but he got beat by the GOAT last year. Mahomes didn’t even throw a touchdown pass in that game, which might have been a foreshadowing of how bad he choked in the second half against the Bengals.

Need more salt in that wound, Mr. Wright? Your boy Mahomes is behind the sticks, so to speak, in his drive to beat Brady as the GOAT. If he doesn’t win the Super Bowl next year, he’ll be two behind Brady’s pace. Of course, after winning Super Bowl XXXIX, it took another ten years before Brady won his fourth, as the Patriots beat the Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. In between those two Super Bowl victories, Brady and the Patriots twice lost the Super Bowl (XLII in 2008 and XLVI in 2012) to Eli Manning’s New York Giants. Those were the only two Super Bowls that Eli Manning won; his brother Peyton Manning also won two (XLI in 2007 with the Colts and L in 2016 with the Broncos). Six other quarterbacks — Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Bob Griese, Jim Plunkett, John Elway, Ben Roethlisberger — each won two Super Bowls. Troy Aikman won three, while Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana each won four Super Bowls. If Mahomes were to win one more Super Bowl, he would rank among the 12 best quarterbacks in NFL history by that metric. Should Mahomes win a third Super Bowl, he’d be one of the five best quarterbacks in history, and winning four would rank him in the top three all-time. So far, however, Mahomes has won only one Super Bowl, and if he keeps choking the way he choked Sunday against the Bengals — really, that second half was one of the worst choke jobs anyone can remember — he may never win another.

The chances of Patrick Mahomes surpassing Tom Brady’s seven Super Bowl victories are so tiny, you might not be able to see them without an electron scanning microscope. Yet that tiny chance is what Nick Wright is betting on, every time he suggests Mahomes could be the new GOAT.

Let’s just hope Nick’s disillusionment is as painful as possible.

You can buy more salt on Amazon, just sayin’ . . .



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