A main storyline in the NFL world right now is the uncertainty regarding the futures of several of the league’s most respected quarterbacks. Philip Rivers has already announced his retirement, and the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees are at least rumored to follow in the not so distant future. Whether these rumors are based in fact or just rumors is to be determined soon.
What is set in stone is Tom Brady punching his ticket to a league record tenth Super Bowl appearance with Tampa Bay’s win over the Packers yesterday. League juggernaut Kansas City, led by Patrick Mahomes, also earned the right to play in the biggest game of the year by defeating the Bills.
Those results turned what might be one of the greatest dream matchups in Super Bowl history into a reality.
Fans rarely get to see the best from two generations battle it out in a championship setting. The matchups that they had before might have been a good appetizer, but a Super Bowl between them will have precedent over whatever happened when they played in games previously.
Brady was the last man standing in a year that featured some of his top adversaries, throughout the years, for the title of “best quarterback in the league” standing in his way. Though they weren’t without flaws, Brady navigated his team past the Drew Brees and the Saints, who swept Tampa Bay in the regular season, and the top seeded Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers.
Mahomes, the epitome of what the franchise quarterback of the future looks like, stands opposite of Brady. Last year, the Chiefs defeated a man that some thought would eventually take Brady’s throne, Jimmy Garoppolo. This season, Mahomes defeated fellow young stud quarterbacks in Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield to punch his ticket to Tampa Bay.
It couldn’t have been scripted better if it was plopped down as a movie script on a Hollywood producer’s desk.
Each man represents a different generation of the NFL. Both men beat some of the most talented quarterbacks of their respective generations to reach the Super Bowl.
Now, Mahomes has a golden opportunity to show the world that the changing of the guard is complete by beating the league’s gold standard for the last two decades.
Brady has the chance to humble Mahomes and the Chiefs, proving that the old dog might still have a few tricks hidden up his sleeve.
Another year might be left on Tom Brady’s hefty Tampa Bay contract. Mahomes will undoubtedly have the Chiefs in the title hunt for at least another decade.
Even with all that in mind, we will likely never get a matchup this perfect again.