Tom Brady and the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory comes down to one thing. There were two extraordinarily talented quarterbacks. Both are beyond superb athletes, intelligent and driven. Both led teams with nothing less than elite athletes.

You don’t play at that level unless you are. Athletically, both teams were evenly matched, with a slight edge to Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes is the younger quarterback.

The difference between the two teams came down to quarterback leadership. How many times since Brady took over at the Patriots have we seen him lead his team from deep deficits in the second half to come back and win?

How about Super Bowl 51 with his team down 28-3 in the third quarter where he led his team to victory? How about the game against the Saints where the Bucs were down 19-3 in the third quarter? The only score that matters to Brady is the one at the end of the fourth quarter. It has been a pattern throughout his NFL career. It’s what makes him such a thrilling player to watch.

What Brady does is to lead his team. When a receiver drops an easy catch, Brady talks to him, builds him up and throws one of the next passes to him. When one of his players makes a bone-headed penalty, Brady goes over to him, talks to him and gets him focused on the task of winning the game.

During this year’s Super Bowl, we saw Brady working the bench throughout the game. He sees coaching as a huge part of his job.


Contrast that with Mahomes during the game. Mahomes spent his time play calling during time on the field. Off the field, he spent his time reviewing plays or just sitting on the bench. Never once did we see him going and talking to his players, showing confidence and leadership.

As a result, there were the aforementioned bone-headed penalties, six dropped passes that could and should have been caught.

He obviously has the skills. There were a number of crazy throws where he was halfway down to the ground when he threw passes that were spot on to a receiver. You don’t lead a team to KC’s record without that kind of athleticism.

The difference is when things get tough. Mahomes showed the frustration on his face. There was the classic moment in the fourth quarter. Mahomes had been chased all over the backfield. At the end of the play he sat on the field, legs spread out and head down. When he looked up, all that his face said was, “We’re done.”

That’s the difference with Brady. Yeah, the last down was a bad play. Yeah, we’re struggling. Now let’s get a touchdown. It’s different body language and a different face.

Mahomes is young enough that he may learn from this game. What do I have to do to turn this thing around? It may be that the pressure from the public of trying to be the next Tom Brady is a very big mountain to climb. Mahomes needs to develop his own, effective leadership style. Let’s hope so, because Mahomes can be enormously fun to watch.

As for Brady, keep at it, Tom. Keep showin’ ’em how it’s done.

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