Comparing Patrick Mahomes playoffs resume to all-time greats like Joe Montana, Tom Brady

Patrick Mahomes playoff resume
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are back-to-back champions, becoming the first repeat Super Bowl winners in 20 years. After taking home another Lombardi Trophy, Mahomes’ further cemented his legacy as one of the best NFL quarterbacks ever.

Mahomes would already be a first-ballot Hall of Famer if he retired today. He entered his age-28 season with two regular-season NFL MVPs, two Super Bowl rings and a pair of Super Bowl MVPs. Only three quarterbacks in NFL history (Mahomes, Tom Brady and Joe Montana) have accomplished that in their careers.

  • Patrick Mahomes career stats: 28,425 passing yards, 219 passing touchdowns, 103.5 QB rating, 66.5 percent completion rate, 74-22 record in the regular season

Related: How NFL teams missed their moment to take down the Kansas City Chiefs

Let’s dive into Mahomes’ playoff resume and how it compares to some of the all-time greats in NFL history.

Patrick Mahomes’ playoff stats put him in elite company

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle
Credit: Tina MacIntyre-Yee /Rochester Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Chiefs have now played in six consecutive AFC Championship Games with Mahomes, coming away with four conference titles. While a Super Bowl rematch with the San Francisco 49ers will be one of the team’s toughest games yet, Mahomes’ historic dominance in the playoffs suggests he can win his third Super Bowl.

Super Bowl LVIII will be the 18th playoff start in Mahomes’ career. Here’s where he stacks up with some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history through their first 17 playoff starts.

First 17 playoff starts

QB RatingRecordYPACompletion RateTD% – INT%
Tom Brady88.014-36.662.5%4.4% – 2%
Joe Montana97.513-48.062.5%6.7% – 3%
Peyton Manning87.59-87.562.4%4.2% – 2.8%
Patrick Mahomes106.314-37.867.4%6.2% – 1.1%
Mahomes has played 17 playoff games after the 2023 AFC Championship. Stats via Pro Football Reference

While Mahomes wasn’t sensational against the best NFL defense in 2023, with the Ravens shutting out the Chiefs’ offense in the second half, he still ranks near the top among the all-time passing leaders in the NFL playoffs. Incredibly, he’s also chasing the all-time greats at a record-setting pace.

NFL playoffs all time passing leaders (Minimum: 10 games)

Most Pass YPG

  1. P. Mahomes285.2
  2. Drew Brees – 280.0
  3. Peyton Manning – 270.5
  4. Matt Ryan – 268.3
  5. Tom Brady – 266.3

Highest yards per pass attempt

  1. Otto Grahm – 9.0
  2. Steve Young – 8.0
  3. Kurt Warner – 7.9
  4. Bart Starr – 7.8
  5. P. Mahomes7.6

Highest QB rating

  1. P. Mahomes105.9
  2. Aaron Rodgers – 103.6
  3. Russell Wilson – 100.0
  4. Drew Brees – 98.7
  5. Tom Brady – 97.2

Highest completion rate

  1. P. Mahomes67.9%
  2. Matt Ryan – 67.5%
  3. Drew Brees – 66.7%
  4. Kurt Warner – 66.5%
  5. Aaron Rodgers – 64.7%

Playoffs winning percentage

  1. P. Mahomes – .833
  2. Terry Bradshaw – .739
  3. Troy Aikman – .733
  4. Tom Brady – .729
  5. Joe Montana – .696

Most career playoff wins by a QB

  1. Tom Brady – 35
  2. Joe Montana – 16
  3. P. Mahomes – 15
  4. Terry Bradshaw – 14
  5. John Elway – 14

Following the AFC Championship Game victory, Mahomes tied Terry Bradshaw and John Elway for the third-most career playoff wins by an NFL quarterback. For context, Elway earned his 14th postseason victory as a 38-year-old quarterback in his 21st playoff start while Bradshaw hit the mark as a 31-year-old in his 19th playoff game. Mahomes is already there by his 17th career playoff game, putting him at a much faster pace than Montana (14th win at 34 years old) and even faster than Brady (30 years old, 18th playoff start).

Mahomes is among the best quarterbacks in NFL playoffs history on a per-game and per-throw basis, with numbers that rival or exceed some all-time greats. Of course, some quarterback’s stat production dips with age but they keep winning. So, we can also compare Mahomes to his peers before age 29.

Comparing Mahomes, Montana and Brady before age-29

RecordQB RatingCompletion RateTD – INTSuper Bowl rings
P. Mahomes15-3105.8567.9%41-83
T. Brady10-184.4361.3%15 – 53
J. Montana7-189.7861.9%17 – 112

Statistically, Mahomes has been better than Brady and Montana in the NFL playoffs. However, many will rightfully focus on the bottom line. By his age-27 season, Brady won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. While he didn’t have much to do with the first victory – 86.2 QB rating, 59.6% completion rate, 1-0 TD-INT – he combined for a 5-1 TD-INT line, 590 passing yards in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, posting a 100-plus QB rating in both contests.

As for Mahomes vs Montana, the 49ers’ legend won two Super Bowls before his age-29 season, posting a 3-0 TD-INT ratio with a 100-plus QB rating in each contest. He didn’t win his third Super Bowl ring until 1989, when he was 32 years old, providing Mahomes with ample time to surpass Montana’s legacy.

Before turning 29 years old, Mahomes has already racked up three Super Bowl appearances including last season when the Chiefs seemed to be rebuilding. Kansas City now sits one win away of playing in its fourth Super Bowl with Mahomes over the last five years. If the Chiefs defeat the Ravens, Mahomes will have as many Super Bowl appearances in six seasons as a starter, tying him with the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts.

Even if the Chiefs’ season ends in Baltimore, Mahomes has already built a resume that makes him one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. While Andy Reid and Travis Kelce are closing in on retirement, Mahomes should have another 10-plus seasons to surpass Troy Aikman (three) and challenge Montana and Bradshaw (four), for the second-most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback in NFL history.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: