With an assist from OpenAI’s lovable and possibly nefarious artificial intelligence construct, we determine what the Chiefs QB has to do to surpass TB12 in the NFL GOAT pecking order.
Patrick Mahomes is riding reasonably high, isn’t he? Already the owner of the largest contract in US sports history, a championship ring, and two league MVP awards entering Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, he steered his underdog Kansas City Chiefs to a comeback victory over the Eagles, earning him not just a second Lombardi Trophy, but a second Super Bowl MVP plaudit.
Not a bad CV for a 27-year-old quarterback who’s only now logged five full seasons as a starter.
Naturally, that got us thinking — what would KC’s No. 15 technically, hypothetically have to do in order to overtake the one and only Tom Brady, who made his retirement official just days before the Super Bowl, for the right to be considered the greatest player the gridiron has ever seen.
Reckoning with the dynamics of NFL GOAT status is not for the faint of heart, folks, so we called upon lovable artificial intelligence construct ChatGPT to help us make sense of three queries:
- Is Mahomes already the most talented QB ever? If he wins another ring and league MVP and retires, where does he rank in the GOAT debate?
- To what degree are you worried about “Mahomes Fatigue” among NFL fans if the dude keeps winning?
- What does Mahomes have to do to overtake Tom Brady as NFL GOAT?
Let’s make that spicy barbacoa.
Is Mahomes the most talented QB ever? If he retired today, where does he rank, all things considered?
ANTHONY PUCCIO: On the most-talented list, he’s No. 1. With one more MVP and a Super Bowl, he’s already up to No. 3 in the NFL GOAT pecking order.
SAM DUNN: He’s the single most talented quarterback of all time in a traditional sense. I’d draw the distinction, however, that Michael Vick is *the most talented overall athlete* ever to play QB in the NFL, apart from any specific career achievements, which is meaningfully different in my eyes.
If he retired today, I’m comfortable saying he’s behind Brady, Peyton Manning, John Elway, Joe Montana, Drew Brees, Brett Favre (*on-field resume only*), and Johnny Unitas. With one more ring and another Super Bowl MVP, he leapfrogs Unitas, Favre, Brees, and Elway, plus arguably surpasses Montana. I’d listen to that debate, boy howdy.
ChatGPT: It’s difficult to definitively say that Patrick Mahomes is the most talented quarterback of all time, as there have been many talented quarterbacks throughout the history of the NFL.
However, Mahomes is certainly one of the most talented quarterbacks of his generation. He has exceptional arm strength, accuracy, and the ability to throw from a variety of arm angles and platforms. He is also very mobile and can extend plays with his legs, making him a dual-threat quarterback. Mahomes has already accomplished a lot in his young career, including winning a Super Bowl and being named Super Bowl MVP, as well as winning the NFL MVP award in 2018. He has also set numerous records, including the most touchdown passes in a player’s first three seasons.
Ultimately, whether or not Mahomes is considered the most talented quarterback of all time will depend on how his career continues to unfold. If he continues to perform at a high level and win championships, he will certainly be in the conversation.
Are you worried about the possibility of “Mahomes Fatigue” if he never stops winning?
SD: No, because he’ll always be the babyface; you couldn’t book him as a heel if you tried. It would be like casting Tom Hanks as a Bond villain. It would be like Ted Lasso listening to Pantera.
AP: Yes. We saw it with LeBron. We saw it with Brady. With Tiger. As Jay-Z says on “Most Kingz,” “You know you’ve become a star / Because you’re the biggest target out there, right? / When everyone’s on the court, they’re coming for you / When the opposing player walks into that arena, they’re thinkin’ of upstaging you / You’re like a trophy to them / They’re thinkin’, ‘if I’m better than this guy/ The spotlight turns on me.”
All these QBs want to upstage Mahomes so they get put into the same conversation. But they’re not.
ChatGPT: It’s unlikely that football fans will get tired of seeing Patrick Mahomes win so many things, as his success is a result of his exceptional talent and hard work. Fans generally appreciate and admire greatness, and Mahomes has demonstrated that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the game today.
Of course, there is always the possibility that some fans may become envious or resentful of Mahomes’ success, especially if he continues to win at a high level for many years. However, this is true of any successful athlete, and Mahomes has shown that he is not only a talented player, but also a humble and likable person off the field. Additionally, fans of other teams may become frustrated with Mahomes’ success if he continues to dominate their favorite teams. However, this is a natural part of sports fandom and does not necessarily indicate that fans are tired of seeing Mahomes win.
Ultimately, as long as Mahomes continues to perform at a high level and win championships, it’s unlikely that fans will become tired of seeing him succeed. Instead, they will likely continue to appreciate and admire his talent and contributions to the sport of football.
What Does Mahomes Have to Do to Surpass Tom Brady as NFL GOAT?
AP: I think he’s gotta win at least 5 rings in order to consider it.
SD: He doesn’t necessarily need seven rings, though that would help a ton. If he’s able to exceed Brady for a sufficient number of single-season and career NFL records along the way, he’s already not far from surpassing the incumbent NFL GOAT in terms of —
- NFL MVP awards: Brady has three; Mahomes already has two and is on pace to rival Peyton Manning for the most all-time with five.
- First Team All-Pro honors: Brady has three; Mahomes has two.
- Total All-Pro Teams: TB12 has six; Pat is halfway there.
- Consecutive Pro Bowls: Brady peaked at 10 in a row; Mahomes is halfway there.
- Career NFL earnings: Brady leads with $332.96 million in on-field salary; Mahomes is on track to surpass that number during the 2028 season with three years left on his deal
If No. 15 exceeds TB12 on a majority of these fronts while being within striking distance regarding Super Bowl rings (four would be the absolute bare minimum here), we’ll be in a similar predicament as we are with the Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate — some would still refuse to consider it a debate at all, while others would insist that Player X’s achievements are ultimately more impressive due to factors like level of competition, longevity, teammate quality, the value of athletic talent vs. quarterbacking skill, etc.
In fact, the ideal future might just be the one in which there’s no clear answer. Talk about a generational gift to talk television and radio, to say nothing of the actual excitement of being able to witness it all unfold as a fan.
ChatGPT: Tom Brady is widely considered to be one of the greatest NFL players of all time, with seven Super Bowl victories and numerous individual awards and accolades. For Patrick Mahomes to be considered as having surpassed Brady as the greatest NFL player ever, he would need to accomplish a number of significant achievements.
First and foremost, Mahomes would need to continue performing at an elite level for many years to come. Brady has been able to sustain his success for over two decades, and Mahomes would need to demonstrate similar longevity and consistency to be considered in the same conversation. Secondly, Mahomes would need to continue winning championships. Brady’s seven Super Bowl victories are unprecedented in NFL history, and Mahomes would need to win several more championships to be considered as having surpassed Brady’s accomplishments in this regard. Thirdly, Mahomes would need to set and break numerous individual records and achieve many individual awards and accolades. Brady has won three NFL MVP awards and been selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times, among other individual honors.
Finally, Mahomes would need to make a significant impact off the field, both in terms of philanthropy and in his role as an ambassador for the sport of football.
In summary, for Mahomes to be considered by top experts as having surpassed Tom Brady as the greatest NFL player ever, he would need to demonstrate sustained excellence over many years, win multiple championships, set numerous individual records and win many individual awards, and make a significant impact off the field as well.
NOTE: Tom Brady has been named to the Pro Bowl 15 times. ChatGPT’s statistical awareness appears to end somewhere in 2021.
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