Do you believe in unlikelihoods?  

It's unclear how familiar Patrick Mahomes is with the underdog story of 'Average Joes' in the movie 'Dodgeball', but reflecting on his first three seasons as a starter in the NFL, it's fair to assume his answer to the question posed by fictitious ESPN anchor Cotton McKnight would be an emphatic yes. 

Since the Kansas City Chiefs installed Mahomes as the starter in 2018, he has turned achieving the unlikely into an art form. 

From a league MVP award in his first season, three double-digit playoff comebacks and a Super Bowl MVP in his second, Mahomes has defined himself as a quarterback for whom the seemingly impossible always appears well within his grasp.

On Sunday, he will attempt to become the first quarterback to win back-to-back Super Bowls since his Tampa Bay Buccaneers counterpart Tom Brady achieved the feat at the end of the 2004 season. 

It would be a fitting way to cap arguably the most remarkable three-season spell by any quarterback in NFL history, and here we examine the numbers behind his stratospheric rise.

Pre-draft concerns prove inaccurate

When Mahomes entered the NFL Draft, he was viewed as a prospect with phenomenal upside but one whose unorthodox, gunslinging style risked inefficiency and turnovers at the highest level. 

The Chiefs were undeterred by such concerns, however, taking a significant gamble in trading up from 27th in the first round to select the former Texas Tech standout with the 10th overall pick.

It is a move that has been overwhelmingly justified, with any doubts over his accuracy completely quashed.

Mahomes ranks first in completions all-time among quarterbacks in their first three full seasons (which is defined as a campaign where a quarterback attempts at least 100 passes). He has connected on 1,092 of his passes, doing so at a completion percentage of 66.1 that, using the same criteria, puts him sixth all-time. 

Only five quarterbacks have hit their team-mates more consistently in their first three full seasons, but there are none that have done a better job of avoiding turnovers and putting the ball in the end zone.

Prolific and protective of the ball

First in passing yards among quarterbacks in their first three full seasons with 13,868, Mahomes also leads the way in touchdown passes. 

He has 114 TD throws through the air while being intercepted on just 23 occasions during that same span. That disparity gives him the all-time lead with a touchdown to interception ratio of 4.96.

What is even more impressive is that Mahomes has largely succeeded in taking care of the ball despite being very aggressive in pushing it downfield. 

His yards per attempt average of 8.39 is fifth all-time among signal-callers in their first three full seasons, while for his career he is the all-time leader in adjusted net yards per attempt (8.49). 

The combination of Mahomes' high yards per attempt, impressive completion percentage and unmatched TD-INT ratio has left him without an equal in the most widely used measure of quarterback performance.

Unprecedented early success

Passer rating is viewed by many as an imperfect metric when it comes to analysing quarterbacks, but the fact Mahomes is the all-time leader with a rating of 109.3 across his first three full seasons is illustrative of the utter dominance he has enjoyed to this point. 

Mahomes also boasts the highest career passer rating in the regular season (108.7) and the postseason (109.8) and it is his incredible level of performance in the playoffs that has ensured he will be the first quarterback in the NFL to start multiple Super Bowls aged 25 or younger. 

Should the Chiefs prevail, the 25-year-old will break Brady's record and become the youngest starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls, Brady having claimed his second at the age of 26. 

It was a scenario few envisaged when he left Texas Tech, but the Chiefs had the foresight to understand he was a talent that could elevate them to the league's elite.

The devastating impact and speed with which he did so was what took the league by surprise, yet few are now shocked by the exploits of a player who makes the amazing look startlingly routine. 

There is perhaps no greater sign of the aura Mahomes has quickly established than the fact he and the Chiefs are favoured to deny the man regarded as the greatest quarterback ever a seventh Lombardi Trophy. 

Super Bowl LV will not be an underdog story for Mahomes and there are unlikely to be many rubbing their eyes in disbelief on Sunday if, as he has done so often, he delivers yet another tale of the unexpected.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid believes Patrick Mahomes can be as influential as LeBron James and impact the world.

Los Angeles Lakers star James has helped lead the fight for racial equality and social justice.

Reid believes Mahomes, who is preparing for the Chiefs' Super Bowl LV clash against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, can be as influential as the four-time NBA champion and four-time MVP.

"Yeah, absolutely. I think he's got a way about him where he understands people and they are interested in things he has to say, or back, and believe in," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"So, I think that presents yourself with a good combination to whatever platform that you want to support or take, that you have that ability."

Mahomes, 25, has already won a Super Bowl to go with a Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP honours.

The quarterback said James was one of the athletes he had modelled himself on.

"There's a lot of great athletes that are doing things the right way. LeBron is one of them. He's someone that I can talk to and get advice from but there's others too," Mahomes said.

"There's a ton of people that are using their voice to make a difference in this world.

"I try and take from them and kind of use my own voice in my own way to make an impact in my community."

Bruce Arians said he envisioned a trip to the Super Bowl after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed "missing piece" Tom Brady.

The Buccaneers are preparing for their first Super Bowl since 2003 as they look ahead to facing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Brady, meanwhile, will be playing his 10th Super Bowl and looking for his seventh win. No other player has even featured in the game seven times.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said the Super Bowl was on his mind after the team landed Brady.

"I thought that was the missing piece and then Jason [Licht, general manager] did such a great job of adding pieces as we went along [with] Rob [Gronkowski], Leonard [Fournette], Antonio [Brown] and other guys. Ross Cockrell has been one of the best pickups we've had the entire season," he told a news conference on Tuesday.

"So yeah, I thought it was possible and that was our goal, because I knew how good of a football team we had and what we were missing.

"We were missing that belief that we were good enough."

The Buccaneers will be the first team to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium.

They are the fifth team all-time to win three road games in a single postseason, and three of the four before them won the Super Bowl.

Asked about Brady's passion for winning, Arians said the quarterback's approach impacted the whole team.

"I think the great quarterbacks all have it. They have the ability to will themselves on other people to make sure that everybody has bought in to the cause," he said.

"The cause is a ring – putting a championship in your trophy case. Tom brings that attitude every single day and it permeates through the entire locker room."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is aiming to surpass "idol" Michael Jordan by winning his seventh Super Bowl ring.

No player has won more Super Bowl titles or appeared in more NFL showpieces than six-time champion Brady, who will lead the Buccaneers against reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday.

Chicago Bulls and NBA great Jordan also won six championship rings during his Hall of Fame basketball career.

As Brady stands on the cusp of a seventh Lombardi trophy, the 43-year-old superstar told reporters on Monday: "Michael [Jordan] is one of my sports idols.

"I think he's pretty incredible and for me it's just about being a part of great teams.

"To have the opportunity to play in this game means a lot to me. It's a lot of commitment and sacrifice by a lot of guys.

"Obviously we're one game away from the ultimate goal in this sport. I've been a part of that ultimate goal six other times so they are all different and have all meant something a little different to me. They've all been unique in their own way. 

"It would be cool to accomplish it this time, I don't compare them to the other times, those were all magical moment of my life and no one can ever take those away from me.

"Hopefully we can finish this season strong and win a Super Bowl. That's why we're here, that's why we're playing, to make for a really magical season for us."

Brady – who will go head-to-head with reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV on home soil – has more playoff wins since turning 35 (17) than any other quarterback has in his entire career, per Stats Perform.

Tampa Bay's Brady became the third player all-time with three-plus touchdown passes and three-plus interceptions in a conference championship game, joining Joe Montana (1981 NFC Championship) and Mark Malone (1984 AFC Championship), after the Buccaneers topped the Green Bay Packers in the NFC decider.

The 31-26 win in Green Bay was also the fourth time Brady has thrown three-plus interceptions in a playoff game, and his teams are 3-1 in those matchups (most such wins all-time) – his sides are 0-9 when he has three-plus interceptions in a regular-season game.

It was the 20th occasion Brady has led his team to 30-plus points in a postseason game – no other player has even half that total (second is Troy Aikman with nine). Brady's teams are 18-2 in those games.

Brady will feature in his 10th Super Bowl – the next most by a player is six by Mike Lodish and Stephen Gostkowski, after the Buccaneers became the fifth team all-time to win three road games in a single postseason.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said young athletes are "crazy" if they do not look up to Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady ahead of his 10th Super Bowl appearance.

No player has won more Super Bowl titles or appeared in more NFL showpieces than six-time champion Brady, who will lead the Buccaneers against Mahomes and reigning champions the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Sunday.

Brady has defied 'Father Time' – the evergreen 43-year-old guiding the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl since 2003, and his first with the franchise since arriving from the New England Patriots at the start of the season.

Mahomes – the Super Bowl MVP last season – hailed the future Hall of Famer ahead of the pair's blockbuster showdown in Tampa.

"If you're a young athlete and you play any sport and you don't look up to guys like Tom Brady then you're crazy," Mahomes – the 2018 NFL MVP – told reporters on Monday.

"The guy that has had success year in and year out, continues to make himself better and not be satisfied with where he's at… he's the type of greatness that you strive to be like and be towards as you grow up.

"For me, I grew up watching him play and he's still here playing and he's still at the top of the game. For me, I just need to watch him and watch the things that he does on and off the field in order to figure out the best way to make me the best player possible."

"The way he's able to dissect defenses before the snap is something I truly admire," Mahomes added. "I'm trying to get to that level. The way he's able to move within the pocket and be able to reset his feet and be completely calm and still make the throw right on the money no matter who's around him is something I can continue to work on.

"As I continue in my career, I'm just going to try to do whatever I can to watch the tape on him because he's doing it the right way. You can tell by how many Super Bowl championships he has and the rings on his fingers."

Mahomes joined Kurt Warner, Brady and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four NFL seasons after the Chiefs took down the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game.

If the Chiefs are victorious, Mahomes will join Brady as the only QBs to win it twice in that span.

As Brady left the door open to prolonging his career beyond the age of 45, the 25-year-old Mahomes said: "I want to play as long as they let me. In order to do that, I have to take care of my body as much as I take care of everything else on the field.

"If you want to play this sport for a long time, how physical as it is, you have to invest as much time into your body as you do anything else. I've learned more and more in my young career so far about what I can do to keep myself available and healthy and try to be in the best nutritional state I can be in. I feel like I can be better."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady said he will "definitely consider" playing in the NFL beyond the age of 45.

Brady is preparing to make his 10th Super Bowl appearance as the Buccaneers face reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sunday.

The evergreen 43-year-old quarterback has defied 'Father Time' to lead the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl since 2003, and his first with the franchise since arriving from the New England Patriots at the start of the season.

As Brady eyes a record-extending seventh Lombardi trophy, the future Hall of Famer is open to extending his career.

"Definitely. I'd definitely consider that," Brady said on Monday. "It's a physical sport. Just the perspective I have on that is you never know when that moment is.

"Just because it's a contact sport. There's a lot of training that goes into it. And it has to be 100 percent commitment from myself to keep doing it."

Brady added: "I think I'll know when it's time. I don't know when that time will come. But I think I'll know. And I'll understand that I gave everything I could to give to this game.

"You put a lot into it. I don't think I could ever go at this game half-ass. I've gotta put everything into it. When I put it all out there, [when] I feel like I can't do it anymore, I don't feel like I can commit to the team in the way that the team needs me, then I think that's when it's probably time to walk away."

Brady – who will go head-to-head with reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV on home soil – now has more playoff wins since turning 35 (17) than any other quarterback has in his entire career, per Stats Perform.

Tampa Bay's Brady became the third player all-time with three-plus touchdown passes and three-plus interceptions in a conference championship game, joining Joe Montana (1981 NFC Championship) and Mark Malone (1984 AFC Championship), after the Buccaneers topped the Green Bay Packers in the NFC decider.

The 31-26 win in Green Bay was also the fourth time Brady has thrown three-plus interceptions in a playoff game, and his teams are 3-1 in those matchups (most such wins all-time) – his sides are 0-9 when he has three-plus interceptions in a regular-season game.

It was the 20th occasion Brady has led his team to 30-plus points in a postseason game – no other player has even half that total (second is Troy Aikman with nine). Brady's teams are 18-2 in those games.

Brady will feature in his 10th Super Bowl – the next most by a player is six by Mike Lodish and Stephen Gostkowski, after the Buccaneers became the fifth team all-time to win three road games in a single postseason.

As Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempt to do what only one team managed to do in the regular season and defeat Patrick Mahomes, the six-time Super Bowl champion warned future foes that the Kansas City Chiefs star is only going to get better. 

Brady and the Bucs face Mahomes and the Chiefs in a mouth-watering Super Bowl LV matchup in Tampa on Sunday. 

Mahomes is trying to cap a spectacular start to his career as an NFL starter with a second successive Lombardi Trophy, having led the Chiefs back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV last year. 

That game saw him add a Super Bowl MVP to the regular-season MVP award he won in his first year as a starter with the Chiefs. 

His incredible achievements have many believing Mahomes is on his way to potentially dethroning Brady as the greatest quarterback of all time. 

And Brady expects Mahomes - who was rested in Week 17 when Kansas City were beaten by the Los Angeles Chargers - to build further on an astonishing three seasons in the years to come. 

Asked about Mahomes' progress from their meeting in the AFC Championship game in January 2019, when Brady's New England Patriots knocked off the Chiefs, the 43-year-old replied: "I think he's only elevated from that point on. 

"That year he was the MVP of the league, last year he came back and got off to a great start, dealt with some injuries, I know he separated his kneecap, that's a pretty tough injury, but fought through that, didn't have the same statistical year as he had in 2018, but goes on to win Super Bowl MVP.

"That's an amazing accomplishment to win MVP in 18, win the Super Bowl in 19 and then this year, to have the kind of year he's had, which is probably more similar to the year he had in 2018. I just think he's going to keep improving.

"I don't know him that well, I know quite a few people that do know him and they say great things about Pat. The times that I've been around him I've really enjoyed. 

"He's got a great maturity, great leader, got great charisma. It always speaks a lot when the players he plays with say great things about him. He's got a great relationship with his receivers, I think that always says a lot.

"I think there's a lot of things that make him a great player, obviously his physical skill set. I think he's got the ability to focus when the moments are the biggest and deliver for his team, that's probably the mark of any great athlete is coming through in the clutch and I think he's off to a great start in his career doing that."

LeBron James compared his achievements with the Los Angeles Lakers to Tom Brady's early success at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the legendary quarterback prepares for his latest Super Bowl appearance.

James, a four-time champion and four-time MVP in the NBA, led the Lakers to the title last year in just his second season in LA.

Meanwhile, Brady is in his first year in Tampa Bay, having ended a glittering career with the New England Patriots, and has taken the Bucs to next week's big game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

James turned 36 last month but is still averaging an impressive 25.2 points per game in 2020-21, a mark he has not dipped below since his rookie season in 2003-04.

Meanwhile, Brady – a three-time NFL MVP chasing a seventh championship – is now 43 yet ended the regular season with 40 touchdowns, the second best return of his career, and a passer rating of 102.2.

Neither man shows signs of slowing and James was asked on Saturday what he made of the continued excellence of a fellow sporting great.

"It doesn't do anything for me as far as what I do in my profession, but it does let me know – lets both of us know – that we can still play this game at a high level," James said after the Lakers' 96-95 win at the Boston Celtics.

"No matter how many miles, how many games, no matter how many dollars, no matter the statistics – in our respective professions, at our age, we can still dominate our sport.

"Also we can bring together groups that we may have not been around for long periods of time.

"It's our professionalism, how we attack the sport, how we attack every single day of being a professional, wanting to win every single day – in practice, on the film, in games, and so on and so on.

"We gravitate towards people and people gravitate towards us because we have one common goal and that's to win and to win at the highest level."

James had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against the Celtics, ending the Lakers' first two-game losing streak of the season with his 854th career win – outright eighth on the all-time list.

"We didn't want to lose one and we lost two in a row, Philly and Detroit," he said, with the Lakers at Atlanta next in the final game of a seven-game road trip.

"We understood we were coming into a hostile environment and we know how good this team is.

"We'd have to play good basketball in order to win and we were able to win one possession more than they did."

Those fine margins came as Kemba Walker missed a game-winning chance for the Celtics in the final seconds, capping a dismal night on which he shot 1-of-12 from the field and 0-of-5 from three.

Walker scored only four points in just over 28 minutes; it was the seventh time in his career he had scored no more than four points in at least 28 minutes in the regular season.

"I thought I had a good look [on the final shot] but I struggled all game shooting the basketball," Walker said.

He added: "It's more mental, I think. I'm trying my hardest not to get frustrated but I thought tonight I got frustrated at myself and it put me in a bad place.

"I'm not the type of player to get frustrated – I'm always smiling and I wasn't that tonight. I got into my own head and, mentally, I hurt myself.

"I can't do that to this team. These guys look to me, especially when things are going tough. I can't put my head down and not mentally be engaged in the game like I was tonight."

Bruce Arians believes if there was a player who could match Tom Brady's incredible NFL career, it would be Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes and Brady are preparing to go head-to-head when the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet in Super Bowl LV on February 7.

Brady, 43, will play in his 10th Super Bowl and aim to win it for a seventh time. No other player has even played in seven, with Mike Lodish and Stephen Gostkowski having featured in six.

He is also a four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP, honours Mahomes has won once previously.

Buccaneers head coach Arians said Mahomes, 25, was capable of matching Brady.

"I think there's so much that goes into that. There's 21 others guy on your team," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"If it was a throwing contest, hell yeah, he'd go get it, but there's a lot of things that happen in different seasons and what Tom has done is historic.

"But there's no doubt that if there was a player who could do it, it would be Patrick."

Mahomes goes into the Super Bowl having won 25 of his past 26 starts (including the postseason). Brady (2003-04) and Jim McMahon (1984-87) are the only other quarterbacks to win 25 of 26 at any points in their careers, and both went 26 of 27.

While the Chiefs are aiming for back-to-back championships, the Buccaneers are in the Super Bowl for the first time since the end of the 2002 season.

Along with Brady, Tampa Bay also landed Rob Gronkowski ahead of this season, and Arians hailed the duo's impact.

"I didn't know about Gronk's work ethic, it's unbelievable. He comes in early, stays late, is great, but he's Gronk so he's got that great personality to go with his work ethic," he said.

"You knew Tom was a great leader. With COVID I don't go in the locker room very much, but those two guys brought something extremely special because they've been there and done it and when young players see that, they listen and you see two totally different personalities doing it the same way."

Tom Brady said his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been "magical" as he prepares for Super Bowl LV.

Brady has led the Buccaneers into the showpiece for the first time since the end of the 2002 season, and the quarterback will line up in his 10th Super Bowl when Tampa Bay face the Kansas City Chiefs on February 7.

While the Buccaneers have that huge game ahead, the 43-year-old said his first campaign with Tampa Bay had been special.

"As it's played out, I've just thought, 'Wow, this has really been a magical year'," Brady told a news conference on Thursday.

"For me as a player to switch teams, that takes a lot and to move my family and to go to a different conference and then to keep building the way we did and develop a rapport with the guys that we have here, so much about football is about the relationships you get with your team-mates, your coaches.

"It's certainly the fact that we're still playing feels really good for me and understand we've put a lot into it and hopefully we can go finish the job, that would be the best part about the season is winning the last game, it's always been a goal, win the last game of the year.

"We've got an opportunity to do it, it's certainly not going to be easy, it's going to take everything we've got, we're going up against a great, championship-level team and it's going to take our best."

Brady will be aiming for his seventh Super Bowl win. No other player has even played in the game seven times (Mike Lodish and Stephen Gostkowski have featured in six).

While Brady is preparing for his 10th Super Bowl, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians will lead a team in the showpiece for the first time.

Brady was full of praise for the 68-year-old, who is in his second season in charge of Tampa Bay.

"He's a great man, he's a great leader, he's a great person, he's a great friend, he's very loyal, he's just got a great way about communicating effectively with everybody around here and everybody has a great affection for him for the person he is," he said.

"There's nobody that ever would say anything bad about BA. He's so endearing to everybody and I think everyone wants to win for him and I think that's what you want to do for a coach, you want to get out there and you want to win for him.

"He puts a lot into it, expects a lot out of it, has high expectations for us every day in practice and just really excited for him to be recognised in the way that he is.

"I know he's two-time coach of the year, but just done an amazing job this year with the team in really adverse situations and just love playing for him."

Bruce Arians says there is no chance he will retire after Super Bowl LV if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dethrone the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game last weekend to set up a showdown with the defending champions a week on Sunday.

Tampa will be the first side to have home advantage for the Super Bowl in NFL history when they do battle with the Chiefs.

Arians quit in 2017 after five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals due to medical concerns, but returned two years later to take over as Buccaneers head coach.

The wily 68-year-old says he has no intention of walking away if he lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time next week, providing owners the Glazer family are happy for him to stay on.

"Hell no. I'm going for two," Arians told 95.3 WDAE when asked if he might sign off on a high note.

"There's no doubt. If the Glazers will have me back, I'll be back."

The legendary Tom Brady has showed age is no barrier by inspiring the Buccaneers' run to the Super Bowl in his first season with the franchise.

Asked what he would have told general manager Jason Licht if he had told him Tampa would play in a Super Bowl with Brady as quarterback when he took over as head coach, Arians quipped: "What are you smoking or drinking? And get me some."

In the win over the Packers, Brady became the third player all-time with three-plus touchdown passes and three-plus interceptions in a conference championship game.

It was the 20th occasion Brady has led a team to 30 or more points in a postseason game – no other player has even managed half of that total – and the 43-year-old is set to feature in his 10th Super Bowl, four more than any other player in history.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher is set to sit out Super Bowl LV against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed the injury a day after the reigning NFL champions topped the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

Fisher – a two-time Pro Bowler after being selected first in the 2013 NFL Draft – won the Super Bowl with the Chiefs last season as Kansas City claimed their first championship in 50 years.

But the 30-year-old will not feature in back-to-back Super Bowls after being helped off the field against the Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.

Fisher played in all 15 regular-season games this campaign and both playoff matchups for the Chiefs.

Kansas City's offensive-line depth has been tested this season due to injuries and players opting out before the start of training campaign.

Ahead of the February 7 Super Bowl at Raymond Jones Stadium – the home of Tom Brady's Buccaneers – Reid told reporters on Monday: "They're talented guys.

"In some cases we've had some young guys step in and ... we've had some older guys step in. That combination has been able to get us through some games here. Most of all, I think the quarterback trusts them, as do the running backs.''

Should the Chiefs retain their crown, star quarterback Patrick Mahomes would be the youngest starting QB (25) to win multiple Super Bowls, surpassing Brady (26).

Mahomes joined Kurt Warner, Brady and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four NFL seasons, per NFL Research. The reigning Super Bowl MVP will have to beat Brady to join him as the only QBs to win it twice in that span.

 

Tom Brady's father revealed he and his wife both battled coronavirus last year in a "life and death" situation as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar prepares for his 10th Super Bowl.

Another Super Bowl awaits six-time champion Brady, who guided the Buccaneers past the top-seeded Green Bay Packers 31-26 in Sunday's NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field.

Brady – who is in his first season with the Buccaneers after 20 trophy-laden campaigns at the New England Patriots, led Tampa Bay to the NFL showpiece for the first time since 2003.

Tampa Bay will become the first team in NFL history to play a home Super Bowl – at Raymond James Stadium, where defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs await on February 7.

It has been a challenging season in the NFL and for people around the world due to COVID-19, and Tom Brady Sr. opened up on a family battle involving his wife Galynn that left the Buccaneers quarterback "stressed out".

"When the season started this year I was in the hospital with COVID for almost three weeks and my wife was sick with COVID at the same time," Brady Sr. told ESPN.

"We didn't even see the first two games of the year. It was the first two games I ever missed of his career because I was sick as a dog and my wife was as sick as a dog.

"I didn't even care if they were playing much less missing the game. It was a matter of life and death, just like anyone who goes into the hospital. It was serious stuff.

"Tommy fought through it and now it's in the rear-view mirror. We're healthy, we're happy and everything is good."

Brady – who will go head-to-head with reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV – now has more playoff wins since turning 35 (17) than any other quarterback has in his entire career, per Stats Perform.

Tampa Bay's Brady became the third player all-time with three-plus touchdown passes and three-plus interceptions in a conference championship game, joining Joe Montana (1981 NFC Championship) and Mark Malone (1984 AFC Championship).

It was also the fourth time Brady has thrown three-plus interceptions in a playoff game, and his teams are 3-1 in those matchups (most such wins all-time) – his sides are 0-9 when he has three-plus interceptions in a regular-season game.

This was the 20th occasion Brady has led his team to 30-plus points in a postseason game – no other player has even half that total (second is Troy Aikman with nine). Brady's teams are 18-2 in those games.

Brady will feature in his 10th Super Bowl – the next most by a player is six by Mike Lodish and Stephen Gostkowski, after the Buccaneers became the fifth team all-time to win three road games in a single postseason.

"This year has been unbelievable," he continued. "Not knowing where we're going to start the season out, and being where we are to end the season is just a stunning development as far as I'm concerned.

"… Getting to the 10th Super Bowl in 19 years of playing is pretty -- it's incomprehensible, actually. It's beyond anything we could ever imagine."

Patrick Mahomes going up against Tom Brady is a prospect that should lead to a "heck of a football game" at Super Bowl LV, says Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

The legendary Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the showpiece in his first season with the team as they overcame the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the NFC Championship Game.

Later on Sunday, superstar quarterback Mahomes guided the Chiefs to a second consecutive Super Bowl in a 38-24 triumph over the Buffalo Bills.

The thought of Brady, considered by many as the greatest QB of all time after winning six rings with New England Patriots, going up against Mahomes is an exciting one, not least for Chiefs coach Reid.

"Yeah, it seems like we've had a couple of those [Mahomes v Brady games] and every one of them is tremendous," Reid told reporters.

"I wouldn't expect this to be different, they got a tremendous team there. Those two have a lot of respect for each other, I remember when Tom came into the locker room after the championship game and spoke to Patrick, and Patrick responded like any young man would respond to the GOAT.

"We look forward to the opportunity to play, I know Pat does with Tom and I'm sure likewise Tom does with Pat. It should be a heck of a football game."

Mahomes completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns against the Bills and joined Kurt Warner, Brady and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four NFL seasons.

If the Chiefs are victorious, Mahomes will join Brady as the only QBs to win it twice in that span.

Asked what such achievements say about Mahomes, Reid replied: "You guys have seen him grow right in front of you.

"You're seeing the steps he's taking. I sit there, and I'm an old guy who's seen a lot of pretty good quarterbacks, and I sit there and think this guy seems to amaze me a little bit more every game.

"I'm proud of the way he handles it most of all. You guys aren't writing stories about this guy has a big head or this and that.

"He's not showing people up. No, he's about the team, he's all in, he works his tail off, he does it the right way, which is important for the longevity of his career and for the success of the Kansas City Chiefs and now for the Super Bowl."

Mahomes entered the game on the back of suffering a concussion in the Divisional Round win over the Cleveland Browns, and with question marks over a nasty-looking toe injury.

Reid added: "Listen, he came out and he practiced and did a great job all week.

"It was a limited basis early with the protocol he had to deal with, he kept positive with it, stayed positive with every part whether that was with the toe or head.

"I thought he and the trainers had a great plan for his toe. It was an amazing looking thing after the last game and how black and blue it was."

Reid said the magnitude of reaching back-to-back Super Bowls had not quite sunk in yet.

"I will [reflect] when I get about two seconds to sit down, I'm gonna sit there and I'm gonna go 'Dog darn, how about that?'" Reid added.

"But we got some work we gotta get done. We understand that, the guys understand that."

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes is excited about the opportunity to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs and Buccaneers secured their places in the NFL showpiece with wins over the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers respectively on Sunday.

The battle between quarterbacks Mahomes and Brady is set to be must-watch at Raymond James Stadium on February 7.

And Mahomes, who led the Chiefs to the title last year in an MVP performance, is excited to face Brady with the 43-year-old playing his 10th Super Bowl.

"The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl," Mahomes told a news conference.

"Being able to go up against one of the greatest, if not the greatest, quarterback of all-time in his 150th Super Bowl, I mean, it's going to be a great experience for me.

"To go out there and have a chance to repeat and get to do it against the best, I mean it's something special and I'm excited for the opportunity."

Mahomes went into the AFC Championship Game on the back of a concussion suffered last week and with question marks over a suspected toe injury.

But he completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-24 win over the Bills.

Mahomes joined Kurt Warner, Brady and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl twice in their first four NFL seasons.

If the Chiefs are victorious, Mahomes will join Brady as the only QBs to win it twice in that span.

Despite the concerns over his health, Mahomes insisted he felt fit and ready to go ahead of facing the Bills.

"I felt good from the warmups on. We did a good job as far as rehabbing and getting myself ready to go," he said.

"I felt like I was myself out there and we were able to go out there and score points and find a way to win against a really good football team."

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