Patrick Mahomes is chasing Tom Brady. Brock Purdy is playing in the shadow of Joe Montana.
Winning the Super Bowl would be another major step for either quarterback.
For Mahomes, it’s an opportunity to win his third NFL championship in his sixth full season as a starter at age 28. Brady won his third of seven Super Bowl rings in his fourth season as a starter at age 27.
For Purdy, it’s a chance to complete his journey from being the last player selected in the 2022 draft to leading a storied franchise to a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title. Only the Patriots and Steelers have won six.
If Mahomes is going to make a run at Brady’s record, he has to win this one. These opportunities are rare.
The Chiefs had a difficult path to get to this point and had to go on the road twice in the playoffs for the first time in the Mahomes’ era. There’s a reason why no team has repeated since Brady led New England to two Super Bowl victories in a row in the 2003-04 seasons.
A third title in five years would solidify Kansas City’s claim to a dynasty. The Patriots won three in four years in the 2000s and they won three in five years in the 2010s.
“I think in dynasties, I always say you’ve got to win three,” Mahomes said before the season. “Our job is to do whatever we can to win as many as we can, not have any regrets when we step off the field. I think if we keep the mentality we have, we can look back at the end of our career (and) then we can decide if we’re a dynasty or not.”
The Chiefs realize they have a unique talent in Mahomes, already a certainty for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The two-time NFL and Super Bowl MVP has built an impressive resume and is working toward being in the GOAT conversation.
“We see it every day, we don’t take that for granted,” coach Andy Reid said. “We respect the job that he does, and we appreciate it. We know we’re seeing something special, and he’s still young in this business. That’s a great thing for the Chiefs, it’s a great thing for the city. It’s somebody you can build around and (general manager) Brett Veach does a great job with that of making sure that other positions are relative to that. It’s a positive thing that we’re very aware of is the best way I can say it.”
If Purdy wins, he’ll stamp his own identity in San Francisco, where Montana led the 49ers to four championships in the 1980s and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer, Steve Young, helped them win their fifth title 29 years ago.
Purdy rose from being “Mr. Irrelevant” to replace Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance and won his first seven career starts, including two playoff games. But he suffered a significant elbow injury in the first quarter of San Francisco’s loss at Philadelphia in the NFC championship game last year.
Purdy returned from surgery to start the season opener and was outstanding, becoming a finalist for the AP NFL MVP award. He led the NFL with a 113 passer rating and his 9.6 yards per attempt were the most in the NFL for a qualifying QB since Kurt Warner had 9.9 in 2000. Purdy was the first Niners quarterback in more than 20 years to throw for more than 4,000 yards (4,280) or at least 30 TDs (31).
He’s helped the 49ers advance with a pair of comeback wins in the playoffs, showing off some of those “Joe Cool” qualities in the clutch that made Montana one of the all-time greatest winners.
And this week, Purdy, the AP has learned, signed a major deal with Toyota to be a national partner and brand ambassador, becoming the first active player the company has partnered with since signing a partnership with the NFL in October 2023.
All he needs now is a Super Bowl MVP trophy. He’d be happy with just a win.
“What a challenge. You’ve got Mahomes, what he does, their team, they’re special,” Purdy said. “They’re winners. They’ve proven that over however many years he’s been there. For us to go back and play them is going to be sweet, going to be special for all of us. I wasn’t here obviously in ’19. You could just tell the guys that have been here, like, anybody, it would be special for them to play these guys. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
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