NESN Debates: Would You Rather Have Tom Brady Or Patrick Mahomes In Super Bowl LV?

We're talking about one must-win game right now


February 2, 2021

Super Bowl LV is a star-studded matchup featuring two teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, loaded with talent.

No storyline has more juice than the quarterback battle, though, as defending champion Patrick Mahomes will look to close the gap on Tom Brady, who’s seeking an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl ring.

Brady, 43, is widely considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history, often saving his best work for clutch moments on the game’s biggest stage. But Mahomes, last season’s Super Bowl MVP, represents both the present and the future. The 25-year-old someday might challenge Brady’s GOAT status if he continues on his current trajectory.

This begs the question: Which QB would you rather have in Super Bowl LV?

The NESN Digital team kicked around this topic and we discovered mixed results, not too surprising given our New England locale — where Brady won six Super Bowl titles with the Patriots — and the national narrative ahead of Sunday’s matchup at Raymond James Stadium.

Still, one QB emerged victorious in our “NESN Debates” segment. Here are the responses.

Ben Watanabe: Mahomes
Brady’s the greatest QB ever, but he’s been weirdly shaky in these playoffs, only completing about 55 percent of his passes and throwing three picks against Green Bay. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting to see any flaw in Mahomes.

Ricky Doyle: Mahomes
Mahomes, right now, is the best quarterback in the NFL. He can do everything Brady does between the lines — and so much more. Sure, Brady is the GOAT, but does “experience” really matter? You don’t have it until you do. And even then, Mahomes already has plenty of experience in his own right, having now been to two Super Bowls and an AFC Championship Game in his three seasons as a starting QB. The Brady mystique might be real some weeks. But not against Mahomes, who’s the real deal.

Marcus O’Mard: Mahomes
He’s one of few athletes capable of changing the course of a game in his team’s favor at any moment and from any point on the field.

Doug Kyed: Mahomes
I know this sounds blasphemous in New England, but it would be crazy not to say Mahomes. The Chiefs QB was significantly better than Brady through the 2020 NFL season and so far in the postseason. It would be one thing if Mahomes hadn’t already won a Super Bowl, but he has that on his résumé, as well.

Zack Cox: Mahomes
Brady still is a very good quarterback. But Mahomes is the very best. Give me the young superstar.

Adam London: Mahomes
Let’s not overcomplicate this. Yes, Brady has a wealth of experience on football’s greatest stage. But that only goes so far against a player like Mahomes, who arguably is playing at a higher level now than Brady ever has played at any point in his career. The Chiefs star typically plays mistake-free football and his playmaking ability is off the charts.

Logan Mullen: Mahomes
There’s so much talent between these two teams that I think talent is going to be what wins out here. And while not knocking all Brady has done this season and how impressive his résumé is, Mahomes, at present, is the more talented QB.

Dakota Randall: Brady
I normally would go with the better player, which Mahomes undoubtedly is right now. But in this spot, I can’t take anyone over Brady.

Lauren Campbell: Brady
As good as Mahomes is, Brady has the experience to give me more confidence in him.

Abigail Adams: Brady
The experience is there. Sure, he’s not undefeated in Super Bowls. But six rings are nothing to sneeze at, either.

Alex Francisco: Brady
This is tough. Would you rather have the greatest quarterback of all time or the future greatest quarterback of all time in the biggest game of the season?

There’s no taking away from Mahomes’ talent and seemingly unlimited potential here by saying I think the weapons Brady has around him are superior. So that’s my thought process in taking Brady, whom I think is a bit more important to the Bucs’ success compared to the Chiefs’ relatively complete offense.

Not to mention, with Mahomes having just won last year with so much time left in his career, I think Brady has the bigger chip on his shoulder and even more motivation to show the world he can win a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick. And I’ll always bet on someone with something to prove.

Sean McGuire: Mahomes
Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion and the runaway GOAT. I get it. I agree. But at this point in their respective careers, Mahomes is tough to choose against. For so long, Brady’s biggest advantage over opposing QBs was his experience. And while he has it to some extent, the Chiefs signal-caller isn’t one the lights will prove too bright for. He’s been here, done it and is the defending Super Bowl MVP.

Patrick McAvoy: Brady
If Mahomes was at 100 percent, I probably would feel otherwise, but that’s obviously not the case. Plus, Brady’s on a mission for his seventh ring and to prove he can get one without Belichick. I definitely wouldn’t want to bet against Brady now.

Meredith Gorman: Brady
You can’t compete with experience, and Brady has much more of it. They’re both great quarterbacks, but Brady has shown us time and time again to never bet against him. Also, he gets to play at home.

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