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Can Patrick Mahomes surpass Tom Brady as the GOAT?

As the Chiefs prepare to defend their Super Bowl championship, their quarterback is approaching such rarefied air that it’s fair to wonder if he eventually will surpass Tom Brady as the most celebrated player of all time.

It would be easy to dismiss the GOAT talk for Patrick Mahomes as hyperbole, but upon further review, the topic is absolutely appropriate.

And if the Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium — it would be their third title in five years — let’s say it will be “Game On.”

To say Mahomes is on a Brady-like pace is an understatement. For proof, check out what he has done at 28 years old compared to Brady at that age

Mahomes has the edge in passing yards, touchdowns, regular-season record, MVP awards, conference championship games, conference championship wins and Super Bowl MVPs.

The only edge Brady has is three Super Bowl wins by age 28 compared with two for Mahomes. Of course, that could change come Sunday. And if it does, it means Mahomes will have an edge in all pertinent metrics and be even with Brady in championships.

Still sound like blasphemy to talk about Mahomes being the GOAT when it’s all said and done?

Of course, Brady still would have the edge in Super Bowl wins (seven to three), but only because he played 20 seasons to Mahomes’ seven.

“I’m not even close to halfway, so I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Mahomes said. “Your goal is to be the best player you can be. I know I’m blessed to be around a lot of great players around me. And so right now, it’s doing whatever I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring.”

Getting that third title will close the gap, but Mahomes understands there is still a long way to go.

“If you ask me that question in, like, 15 years, I’ll see if I can get close to seven,” he said. “But seven seems like a long ways away still.”

To mount a legitimate run, sustainability will be the key. And there are factors working in his favor. Mahomes has been relatively healthy, and with the way the NFL protects quarterbacks, he has the benefit of the rules on his side.

Yes, he’s a mobile quarterback who can make and extend plays with his legs, but he’s more of a scrambler than running quarterbacks who put their bodies in danger.

Mahomes also plays for a great organization that drafts and develops so well that it’s hard to imagine him spending many seasons in rebuild mode. If the Chiefs can continue to replenish around their quarterback the way they have in his six seasons as their starter, the playoffs should be within reach far more often than not.

The significance of that is Mahomes absolutely shines in the playoffs, where his record is 14-3 with 4,802 passing yards and 39 touchdowns compared with seven interceptions.

And as he showed this season by going on the road for the first time in his postseason career and beating league MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens and MVP runner-up Josh Allen and the Bills, it doesn’t matter where or who Mahomes plays in the postseason. His greatness transcends all that.

“He’s the reason why we’re here and why we’re able to keep coming back,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said. “He just gives his team a certain sense of urgency and confidence that we can go and get it. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. And when you put that guy on a team, he makes everybody better.”

Assuming Mahomes stays healthy and continues to put up the statistics to keep pace with Brady, the ultimate arbitrator will be championships. But it’s important to remember that Brady went eight seasons between winning his third and fourth Super Bowl. He actually won more titles from age 37 to 43 than he did from 24 to 28.

If Mahomes and the Chiefs can make better use of their time over the next eight seasons than Brady and the Patriots did from 2005 to 2013, who knows where this conversation will go?

Of course, part of that is predicated on Mahomes winning Sunday.

If so, he will become just the fifth quarterback to win three Super Bowls and the eighth to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.

For now, that’s his focus.

“To be able to win back-to-back Super Bowls is special,” Mahomes said. “There’s only a small group of teams that have been able to do that. So, for us, it’s just to prove that we can do it. I think we got the guys to do it.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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