Skip to main content

Football Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady lead Chiefs, Patriots into a classic clash of youth versus experience

Watching Patrick Mahomes this season has made Tom Brady feel like an old man.

At least, old enough to remember a much different era for young NFL quarterbacks.

As a rookie in 2000, Brady remembers being nowhere near seeing the field as a starter.

Story continues below advertisement

“I was sitting in the stands, eating nachos before games. I wasn’t playing,” he joked this week.

Now he looks around at a league in which Mahomes is one of several young quarterbacks in their first or second year starting for teams. Brady also started his second season, but it was hardly the plan as he replaced an injured first stringer, Drew Bledsoe.

“Football was different then,” Brady said. “I think now, in some ways, pro football is more glorified college football ... the transition is a more similar game than it used to be when I first started.”

It’s an atmosphere that has allowed Mahomes, who will be starting for Kansas City when the Chiefs (5-0) visit New England (3-2) on Sunday night, to emerge as the most electrifying quarterback in the NFL this season.

Mahomes leads the NFL with 14 touchdown passes through Week 5 and has won each of his first six NFL starts, dating back to his lone start last season. With a win against the Patriots, Mahomes would become the sixth quarterback since 1970 to win his first seven career starts.

It’s put the second-year Texas Tech University product under the microscope in his first year as Kansas City’s full-time starter after an off-season trade that sent Alex Smith to Washington.

While Mahomes said running the jet sweeps and run-pass option plays he did in college has helped with his transition, he also spent a fair amount of time studying Brady’s approach in New England.

Story continues below advertisement

“My coach in college was Kliff Kingsbury, and he actually was a backup for Brady at one point, and so he showed me things that he liked with Tom and his pocket movements and stuff he did within the pocket that I’ve tried to put in my game a little bit,” he said.

While Chiefs coach Andy Reid won’t disparage Smith, he acknowledges Mahomes brings a lot of intangible qualities to their offence. Reid is also cognizant that the season is still young.

The 23-year-old is not a rookie, but he basically is, Reid said.

“He’s going through an NFL season – his first one – and there are all kind of challenges that come with that, and no bigger one than this week,” Reid said.

Here are some things to watch for in Sunday night’s game:

Not an underdog

Despite Kansas City’s unblemished record, the Patriots enter Sunday’s game as a three-point favourite. It’s for good reason. Since 2001, the Patriots have played host to teams with a better record than their’s 41 times. In those games, New England is 30-11.

Story continues below advertisement

Since starting the season 1-2, New England has outscored opponents 76-31 over its past two victories, at home against Miami and Indianapolis.

Milestone watch

Brady has an NFL-record 199 career regular-season victories and can become the first quarterback in league history to reach 200 for his career. He enters this week tied with Colts kicker and former teammate Adam Vinatieri for the most career wins in the regular season and playoffs combined with 226.

Bring the nasty

Not only did the Chiefs’ maligned defence force Jacksonville into five turnovers last week, it showed a mean streak for the first time all season. Defensive tackle Chris Jones took it a bit too far, getting ejected for throwing an elbow at a Jaguars lineman after a play.

“I don’t even remember what happened,” Jones said with a wry smile. “But we’re not going to let anyone push us around.”

Injury woes

The Chiefs signed ex-Browns linebacker Nate Orchard and journeyman Frank Zombo to help with pass-rushing depth. Justin Houston has a hurt hamstring, and fellow pass-rushers Dee Ford and Tanoh Kpassagnon have been banged-up, which left only rookie Breeland Speaks available.

“Tanoh will have a chance to play,” Reid said, “but we just have to make sure we are okay in that spot just in case.”

Story continues below advertisement

Matching wits

The game features the two winningest active coaches in Bill Belichick (281) and Reid (199); Belichick is 5-2 lifetime against Reid. “I mentioned this before,” Reid said, “when you play good football teams, you love that challenge. You spend a lot of hours doing what we are doing. You love the challenge of it, and I think as players and coaches you cherish those things. It is a neat part of the business.”

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter