Super Bowl LVII concluded on February 12, 2023, with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Philadelphia Eagles with a final score of 38-35. It marked both the third appearance by the Chiefs in the last four seasons, and the Eagles’ first appearance since their 2018 Super Bowl win.
With last season’s Super Bowl out of the way, some analysts and fans are already focused on next year’s outcomes. In fact, placing futures bets on the NFL shortly after the previous season’s conclusion is incredibly popular. And at the moment, NFL odds from major sportsbooks are keeping their eye on the Chiefs to compete for the Lombardi Trophy again, alongside recent favourites like the Buffalo Bills and Eagles.
All three teams have a key ingredient that the league’s other 29 franchises lack: star-calibre quarterbacks. The Eagles are led by Jalen Hurts, an up-and-coming rookie. Josh Allen leads the Buffalo Bills. But the Chiefs’ quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is claiming headlines after achieving his second Super Bowl MVP win.
And as Mahomes instates himself as an NFL legend (already leading the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in a half-century back in 2020), one huge absence will be felt next season. Though he returned to the gridiron after a false retirement in 2022, Tom Brady’s recent (second) retirement seems permanent. And with the Brady era over, is it now Mahomes’ NFL?
An Official Farewell from Brady
Brady is regarded as the NFL’s best quarterback of all time. Though he entered the NFL late in the Draft, he then became the league’s most formidable QB, leading the New England Patriots to six Lombardi Trophies during his tenure at Massachusetts. Along the way, Brady also notched five Super Bowl MVP wins, three NFL regular season MVP awards, and multiple passer ratings, passing yards, and passing touchdown leads.
To say that Brady has left his mark on the NFL might be an understatement. Even when he headed to Tampa Bay, signalling his final seasons in the league, he managed to bring the Buccs their very first Super Bowl win.
Recently, he made a second official retirement announcement. While not everyone is convinced that Brady is calling it quits, his absence will invariably pave the way for Mahomes to ascend as the NFL’s next quarterback superstar.
Making Good on that Half-a-Billion Contract
In 2020, Mahomes managed to lead the Chiefs to a fourth-quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes made a call and it paid off, leading the team to notch two touchdowns. The quarterback pulled off a similar feat this February, guiding the Chiefs to a second-half comeback.
Along with being an accurate thrower with a strong vision of the field, quarterbacks must be able to deliver. This is especially true in the playoffs when the pressure can lead to critical breakdowns on the field. For his talent and unflappability, Mahomes earned himself a ten-year extension to his contract back in 2020 – with almost $500 million guaranteed.
The Long Road Ahead
Mahomes’ contract with the Chiefs marked one of history’s most lucrative sports signings—only behind names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Following the big win for the 2019-2020 season, Mahomes led the Chiefs to the next Super Bowl before falling to Brady’s Buccs. In 2021-22, the Chiefs failed to advance to the championship game.
However, Mahomes made good on his historic contract with his performance at this year’s Super Bowl. Once again steady under pressure, Mahomes led the Chiefs to their second win in the last decade. And he did it all with his signature sense of playfulness—something that clearly contrasts Brady’s propensity to offer up sage advice and biohacking tips.