NFL

Mahomes credits 'crazy' longevity of Brady ahead of Chiefs v Bucs clash

By Sports Desk September 29, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is unsure if he will be able to play at the age of 45, but said his aim is to replicate Tom Brady by playing at the highest level for as long as possible.

The Chiefs travel to Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, where Mahomes will come up against his legendary counterpart for the first time since the Bucs beat Kansas City at Super Bowl LV.

Both teams are 2-1 in 2022, and coming off Week 3 defeats after the Chiefs were beaten by the Indianapolis Colts, while Tampa Bay lost to the Green Bay Packers.

Brady is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards (85,193) and touchdown passes (627), while he also led the league in passing yards (5,316) and TD passes (43) last season.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's clash at Raymond James Stadium, Mahomes said he wants to emulate the 45-year-old – who retired at the end of last season before changing his mind – by maintaining a high level for as long as possible.

"I want to play as long as I can play, and I can still have a chance to help the team get better," he said.

"Obviously, it's hard to play until you're 45 years old, and I don't want to be out there just hanging on. You see what Tom is – he's still playing at a very high level.

"I think that's why it's hard for him to kind of give it up – when you're playing at a high level you don't want to leave it.

"For me, I'm going to try to keep my body in the best shape possible and as long as they'll let me play and I can play at a high level, I'll be out there."

Mahomes was fourth in the league for passing yards in 2021 (4,839) and tied fourth for TD passes (37), and credited the impact Brady continues to have in the NFL.

"It's special to see the things that he's done in this league," the 27-year-old added. "The way he was able to change the position, the longevity of great success – I mean that's the crazy part – you look at his career and there's never really been a down year.

"He's always been great and had a great season and found ways to get even better.

"He's done stuff off the field that hasn't impacted him on the field, but still made his legacy even greater, so it's always a great opportunity for me and our team to go up against a great quarterback and really [see] where our team is at."

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    Dorival Junior's side subsequently lost early ground on Group D leaders Colombia, who beat Paraguay 2-1 earlier in the day.

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    Rodrygo steered a shot wide following a jinking run into the penalty area, while Raphinha was denied by Patrick Sequeira after latching onto a diagonal ball over the top of the Costa Rica defence.

    The Selecao thought they had broken the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Marquinhos applied the finishing touch after Rodrygo glanced Raphinha's free-kick towards the far post, only for the strike to be ruled out for offside following a VAR review. 

    Rodrygo fired narrowly over in first-half stoppage time and, then on 63 minutes, Lucas Paqueta saw his ferocious 25-yard drive crash against Sequeira's left upright.

    Dorival withdrew the quiet Vinicius Junior in favour of Endrick and Savinho for the final 20 minutes, and both looked dangerous upon their introductions.

    The latter's cross almost saw Costa Rica defender Haxzel Quiros head into his own net with his blushes spared by Sequeira, who then beat away Guilherme Arana's fierce volley.

    Savinho was involved again in stoppage time as he teed up one final opportunity for Bruno Guimaraes, who bent his first-time shot narrowly wide to compound a frustrating start to the tournament for the nine-time winners.

    Selecao stutter on return to States

    It is fair to say Brazil do not boost particularly fond recent memories of playing in the United States in recent years.

    After all, the Selecao crashed out in the group stages when the Copa America was last held in this nation eight years ago.

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    Try as they may, his team-mates just could not break down their opponents and turn their dominance into the elusive goal, with just three of their 19 attempts on target.

    Fresh from playing a starring role in Real Madrid’s LaLiga and Champions League double, Vinicius Junior was unable to inspire his nation – his tallies of 45 touches and 23 passes were the lowest recorded by any of Brazil’s outfield starters.

    On a brighter note, Marquinhos made his 16th Copa America appearance – with only Dani Alves (19) and Thiago Silva (18) playing more times for the Selecao in the competition since 2000 – though a VAR review prevented him from marking the occasion with a goal.

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    Antonio Carlos Zago's side did not heed an early warning when goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra was forced to rush out and clear in front of Balogun.

    Bolivia were caught napping just minutes later as Timothy Weah worked a short corner with Pulisic, who coasted inside before curling into the top-right corner from an acute angle on the left-hand side of the area.

    Weah – son of legendary forward George – was denied from point-blank range as the USA almost doubled their lead immediately.

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    Pulisic was afforded the freedom of midfield yet again, dropping into space before offloading for Balogun to cannon a left-footed drive into the bottom-right corner.

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    His routine tap-in from inside the six-yard area was ruled out for offside as Weah had rushed forward to capitalise on Weston McKennie's pass before sliding across for his attacking partner.

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    Bolivia have now lost their last four international outings by a concerning margin of 9-1, having suffered defeats against Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and the USA.

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