Patrick Mahomes emerged victorious from the star quarterback showdown with Tom Brady Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-31.
The young quarterback, 27, dazzled in Tampa as he pulled several ridiculous plays out of his pocket to outshine the veteran and seven-time Super Bowl winner.
Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, including an electrifying jump pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 41-31 victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night.
Playing in a packed stadium only four days after Hurricane Ian ravaged portions of Florida, Mahomes had TD throws of 16 yards to Travis Kelce, 1 yard to Edwards-Helaire and 10 yards to Jody Fortson while making NFL history by reaching 20,000 yards passing faster than anyone else.
Mahomes first showcased his magic when the Chiefs forced a Tampa Bay fumble on the opening kickoff, and two plays later, he found Travis Kelce for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
He then wowed on the second drive as, with the Buccaneers’ defense breathing down on his neck, he sidestepped Carlton Davis and managed to get the ball out in time to find JuJu Smith-Schuster for a first down.
However, his most remarkable moment of the game came when the Chiefs were up 14-3. The Buccaneers defense looked to have finally caught him but he successfully avoided the rush as he twirled away from Devin White before finding Edwards-Helaire for the score.
The short pass to Edwards-Helaire was Mahomes at his improvisational best: He escaped two defenders, did a 360-degree spin move and flipped the ball over a crowd to the running back in the back of the end zone.
Mahomes’s tricks and flicks did not go unnoticed on social media as NBA superstar LeBron James led the praise for the Chiefs quarterback.
‘Patty Mahomes. So damn good,’ the Lakers star tweeted, alongside a series on magic wand emojis.
Other football fans described Mahomes’s ability as ‘silly’ as they jokingly claimed he should be banned from the league as no one else can match his skill.
‘Patrick Mahomes should be banned from the @NFL, it’s just not fair what he can do,’ posted former linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
‘Mahomes is just silly. It isn’t fair. I want a Mahomes,’ added Barstool Sports’ Big Cat.
Patrick Allen described Mahomes’s performance as Godlike, as he posted: ‘Patrick Mahomes is going God Mode on the Bucs right now.’
An Arrowhead fan account wrote: ‘There’s never, ever been a quarterback like this before. Mahomes Magic!’
Another account posted: ‘List of people who can make that throw: Patrick Mahomes That’s it. That’s the list.’
Meanwhile, another football fan joked that Brady had been forced to watch his defense get ‘fathered’.
It posted: ‘Tom Brady really sacrificed his marriage to watch his defense get absolutely fathered by Patrick Mahomes. Tough scene.’
It was the first meeting between Mahomes and Brady since Tampa Bay´s 31-9 rout of Kansas City in the Super Bowl – also played at Raymond James Stadium – two seasons ago.
When asked if the Super Bowl heartbreak was on his mind during the game, Mahomes replied: ‘Yeah, we wanted to win for sure. Not only or that but to get our season back on track. To come down here to this stadium and win a game was pretty special.’
Brady completed 39 of 52 passes for 385 yards and three TDs without an interception for Tampa Bay (2-2). The Bucs, however, played from behind the whole night after rookie Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff and Mahomes threw his TD pass to Kelce two plays later.
Chiefs cornerback L´Jarius Sneed sacked Brady, forcing a fumble that Mahomes turned into Gray´s TD, with the tight end taking a direct snap from center on the 1-yard plunge that put Kansas City up 28-10.
Brady threw TD passes of 13 yards and 1 yard to Mike Evans, who returned from serving a one-game suspension for his role in a on-field brawl at New Orleans two weeks ago. He had eight receptions for 103 yards.
Evans’ second TD trimmed Kansas City´s lead to 28-17 at halftime. That was as close as the Bucs got until Leonard Fournette´s 5-yard TD reception cut Tampa Bay´s deficit to 41-31 with 3:30 remaining.
Brady wouldn´t get the ball back until less than a minute was left.
Kansas City finished with 417 yards of total offense, including a 189-3 edge on the ground, against a defense that had allowed a league-low 27 points through three games.
The Bucs sacked Mahomes three times and intercepted him once, but it was not the ‘coming out party’ linebacker Shaquil Barrett had predicted his team having against an offensive line the Chiefs have overhauled since struggling against Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl loss.
With Hurricane Ian approaching the Florida´s Gulf Coast, the Bucs evacuated for four days to the Miami area, where they practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Dolphins’ training facility while the NFL made contingency plans to move the game to Minneapolis if it couldn´t be played in Tampa.
The Glazer family that owns the Bucs has announced it is donating $1 million for hurricane relief. The NFL Foundation is matching that donation, and the Bucs on Sunday night began a ‘Florida Strong’ campaign to raise funds, as well as honor emergency personnel and first responders.
Players and fans observed a ‘moment of support’ prior the national anthem, and the Bucs also paid tribute to those affected by the hurricane in a video presentation displayed on giant scoreboard screens before the game.