In Super Bowl LV, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. Football fans who have watched Tom Brady in many huge playoff games know that he would never rest until the end of the game. With minutes left, Brady could be seen with his game face on upset about one of his teammates mistakes and even a bad throw that he made.
Mahomes is one of the young faces of today’s game with a heart to match, but could not overcome some weaknesses in his own team as much as he tried. In some ways professional football can be so complicated and a few key missing players can make it near impossible to overcome. Mahomes was running for his life last night.
For Bears fans, I think this game might have been instructive. As good as Mahomes is today, a few injured linemen made it near impossible to stay close to Brady’s Buccaneers. Mahomes had a 53% completion rate, a pass rating of 52%, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, a fumble, and he was sacked 3 times. Yet, there are probably hundreds of articles on how he played bravely throughout the game–and certainly, I would not contest that.
In Mitchel Trubisky’s game 12 against the Packers he delivered poor stats that were still better than Mahomes game in Tampa. Trubisky had a 56% completion rate, a pass rating of 74%, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 3 fumbles and 3 sacks.
In 2020, the Bears actually beat the Bucks, 20-19, on October 8th, but Nick Foles was quarterback on that day.
Pillars of the NFL by Patrick McCaskey looks at the 10 greatest coaches in NFL history. We know the winning story on quarterbacks might not be what the public expects today. I think if you study Bill Walsh, he looked at the skills a QB might show in one game and then he tried to develop those for consistency. Vince Lombardi did not expect Bart Starr to be best from day one on the Packers. Starr like everyone else got better with practice, practice, and more practice. The media often depicted Terry Bradshaw as a slow country boy. Chuck Noll had another idea and more patience than most, but built a tremendous team man for man around Bradshaw. Certainly, not a perfect relationship, nevertheless the Noll-Bradshaw tandem became a Hall of Fame force that captured four Super Bowls.