BOSTON (CBS) — This Sunday, for the fifth time, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes will face each other in a football game. It will, obviously, be their first Super Bowl meeting, but it won’t be their first playoff matchup.
That moment came during the 2018 postseason, when the Patriots visited the Chiefs on a frigid January evening. The underdog Patriots coughed up a second-half lead, benefited from a Dee Ford offsides penalty, and absolutely eviscerated the Chiefs’ defense in overtime en route to an unforgettable 37-31 victory.READ MORE: Robert Gentile, The Man The FBI Believed Knew About The Gardner Museum Theft, Has Died
Mayhem, obviously, ensued.
In the commotion, there obviously wasn’t much time for hand-shaking and friendly chats between the two teams. Yet once things settled, Brady made sure to head to the Chiefs’ locker room to talk to Mahomes, who was just 23 at the time.
Tom Brady just quietly approached a security guard waiting outside the Chiefs’ locker room — and asked if he could see Patrick Mahomes. Brady was escorted into a room where he spoke briefly with him. A very clear display of respect from one incredible quarterback to another.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 21, 2019
Mahomes — the NFL’s MVP that season — went on to win the Super Bowl a year later, and now he’s up against Brady once again in the Super Bowl.
With that matchup looming, NFL Network’s Kay Adams asked Brady this week why he went out of his way to find Mahomes that night.READ MORE: FDA Authorizes Booster Dose Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine For People 65 And Older
“What happened was we won in overtime, and the field got crazy, so I didn’t get a chance to just go over and just tell him what I thought of him,” Brady said. “And then I just wanted to make sure before he left that I let him know what I thought about watching him play all year, how he dealt with all the different things that he had to deal with.”
Brady explained that when he was a younger player, he received the same type of courtesy from the players he looked up to in the NFL.
“I watched Peyton Manning for a long time. I really admired the way Peyton handled all the things that he dealt with. Brett Favre, who’s a friend of mine. So I looked up to these guys who — and guys on my own team, guys who I really looked up to that helped me grow and mature as a young player,” Brady said.
Mahomes — who was 6 years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl — discussed his appreciation of watching Brady for basically his entire life.
“I remember, I think the first one I remember is he’s grabbing the trophy and he’s throwing it up, he’s screaming, he’s yelling. Just the excitement. It’s been forever,” Mahomes said of his Brady memories. “It seems like every single year, he’s just getting better. And it truly is amazing to watch, and it’s amazing to go up against. Because you know you’re going up against the best.”
It’s clearly a mutual admiration society between the two QBs, too.
“He’s 25, he’s got obviously a bright future, he’s got a great career ahead of him,” Brady said of Mahomes. “For such a short period of time in the league, to be an MVP in 2018, to deal with some injuries in 2019 — which he’s going to deal with over the course of his career — but then come back and lead the team to the Super Bowl and win it with a clutch fourth quarter. And then to have a year like 2020, where all those incredible statistical performances — unfortunately, one of them against us — but then to bring his team right back to the Super Bowl, which is incredibly tough to do, because you’re getting every team’s best game every week. He’s facing a lot of unique challenges at an early age that are just going to keep serving him well.”
While Brady’s NFL days may be numbered (they are, aren’t they?!), Mahomes is young, and he is dominant. So Brady doesn’t anticipate Sunday as being Mahomes’ final Super Bowl appearance.MORE NEWS: Delayed But Longer Fall Foliage Season Expected In New England
“He’s got the athletic ability to extend plays and he’s got all the physical tools and he’s got all the mental tools,” Brady said. “So he’s going to be in this game quite a few more times, in my opinion.”