Patrick Mahomes is building his resume as he works his way towards ‘GOAT’ status, with some already passing him the crown.
Tom Brady is widely credited with the title of the greatest NFL player of all time, with his seven Super Bowl wins well ahead of any other quarterback to play the game.
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But Mahomes has started to make the conversation interesting, claiming his third title and third Super Bowl MVP award after leading the Chiefs to a comeback 25-22 victory over San Francisco on Monday (AEDT) in overtime.
Kansas City are also the first team to go back-to-back since Brady’s New England Patriots in 2003-04.
“We just kept fighting,” Mahomes said afterwards.
“Guys just continue to battle and we were able to get enough there at the end to win the game.”
That is some understatement, with Kansas City battling back all game long.
The 49ers took a 22-19 lead to start the extra period, putting the pressure firmly on Mahomes, who had one chance with the football to get the score the Chiefs needed to keep his side in it.
The 28-year-old duly led the team down the field, finding Mecole Hardman with a three-yard throw for the matchwinning touch down.
For one former player at least, Mahomes has already leapfrogged Brady into GOAT status.
“I think he’s the best player who’s ever played this game,” ESPN host and former NFL defensive tackle Booger McFarland said during the broadcast, before posing a question to Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce.
“What makes him so special in crunch time?”
Kelce, who has been alongside Mahomes throughout the team’s dynastic run, seemed ready for the question.
“Preparation,” he said. “This guy works harder than anybody I’ve ever met in my life.
“He only makes me want to play harder for these guys.
“We know that he’s prepared and then his instincts just take over.”
Mahomes’ three Super Bowl MVP awards take him level with Joe Montana for second all-time, behind only Brady’s five.
McFarland, himself a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Buccaneers and Colts, had a final word for Mahomes as he left the ESPN desk.
“Best I’ve ever seen kid,” he said shaking the quarterback’s hand. “No doubt about it.”
Later in the ESPN broadcast, McFarland laid out more reasons for him annointing Mahomes as the best ever.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen and this is what separates him from Tom Brady, because people are going to compare the two,” he said.
“When you look at Brady, Brady at least had a good offensive line. He at least had other pieces around him.
“(Mahomes) had two tackles that they said couldn’t play, he didn’t have a No. 1 receiver, the best guy on his team, Travis Kelce, went through a spell where he dropped the football.
“It did not matter. We all said the 49ers were the better team, but the other team had 15, and that proved to be the difference.
“Regardless of the number of rings, regardless, he’s the best quarterback I’ve ever seen.”