Prior to last season, the two teams that were said to be going head to head for Super Bowl glory were the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As it turned out, neither team made it through the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in a title decider that no one would have predicted.
Key to the rivalry between the Chiefs and the Buccaneers are, of course, their respective star quarterbacks, very much on either end of their career arcs, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.
This season when you look at the best NFL odds, you still note that the Chiefs and the Bucs sit in fourth and second places, respectively, when it comes to the Super Bowl futures market, and one wonders which of the two will make more of an impact in 2022.
44-year-old Brady spent a few weeks in retirement before deciding to make an immediate return, and that comes after a season where he posted amazing numbers. Mahomes, on the other hand, had something of a dip last year and will be looking to get back to his best for 2022.
When Brady announced his retirement, Mahomes was one of many who paid tribute to the seven-time Super Bowl winner, taking to Twitter to simply post a goat emoji to illustrate just how outstanding the services the Tampa Bay man had made to the NFL.
26-year-old Mahomes has been as consistent as can be over the course of his four completed NFL seasons. Taking the Chiefs to the postseason in each campaign and bagging a Super Bowl win in just his second full season in the game.
The potential Mahomes possesses is frightening and perhaps last year was proof that there is a slight chink in his armor, but nonetheless, he holds the fate of the Chiefs’ coming seasons in his hands.
Brady’s decision to return to the game may have been down to a need to finish his career on a high, and the former New England Patriots man has just a year to run on his Tampa contract and has already signed a massive NFL analyst deal with Fox Sports and all this points to the distinct possibility that the coming season may actually be his final hurrah.
As for a head to head in real terms, the 2022 fixture list has thrown up a tasty encounter between the Bucs and the Chiefs that takes place in week four and is sure to be a closely-fought clash that is, of course, a rerun of Super Bowl LV, in which Brady ran out the victor.
While it’s unlikely that any player will match the successes, and numbers, posted by Brady during his epic career, if there is one current player who may have a chance of getting close, then it’s Mahomes.
The pair represent the past, present, and future of the game, and the coming season could see one man elevated while the other brings his legendary time in the game to a logical conclusion.