Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady will face off in the ultimate showdown on Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV but it was their first playoff meeting in 2019 that set the wheels of greatness in motion for the young quarterback.
Mahomes spoke to reporters on Monday about the 2019 AFC Championship game where the Chiefs lost 37-31 in overtime to the New England Patriots. After the game, Brady went into the Chief’s locker room to talk to the 2018 league MVP.
“It was an affirmation of what I’d been doing the whole year, that I was doing it the right way,” Mahomes said, via Yahoo Sports. “As a young quarterback, you don’t understand that. You try to put in as much time and work as possible and try to win as many games as possible, and for him to come talk to me and show me that respect, from Tom, it meant I was doing it the right way. Obviously, I have a ton of respect for him and everything he has done.”
Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid recently spoke about that meeting and expressed how pivotal that moment was for Mahomes.
“Well I would say it was unique,” Reid said, via The Kansas City Star. “I mean he didn’t have to do that. He is arguably the best quarterback to ever play the game, and he surely didn’t have to come over and say a word.”
“I think for a young quarterback to have somebody of his stature do that, I think, was a tremendous gesture. And it was heartfelt. He didn’t have to do it, and he wasn’t putting on a show. There was nobody there to really see it, so it was really just his respect for Pat and in return, Pat’s respect for him.”
Brady praised Mahomes on Monday, saying that he’s “only elevated” since that point.
“I think that year he was the MVP of the league, and the year after that, he came back got off to a great start, dealt with some injuries last year… But he fought through that. He didn’t have the same statistical year as he had in 2018, but he goes onto win Super Bowl MVP. That’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Brady continued to call him a “great leader” and admired him for his “maturity” as a player.