Patriots

Patrick Mahomes doesn't think 2019 will be Patriots QB Tom Brady's last season

Patrick Mahomes doesn't think 2019 will be Patriots QB Tom Brady's last season

FOXBORO -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes finally beat the New England Patriots on Sunday after losing his first two career matchups versus Tom Brady last season.

Mahomes didn't play exceptionally well in his team's 23-17 win at Gillette Stadium. He completed 26 of 40 pass attempts for 283 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The reigning NFL MVP threw for just 57 yards in the second half, but some of those struggles were caused by an injury to his right throwing hand suffered in the first half.

He did, however, make history with his road win over the Patriots.

The 24-year-old Chiefs star was asked after the victory about his personal feelings on beating Brady for the first time, especially if 2019 is the 42-year-old quarterback's final campaign. Mahomes is not convinced Brady will call it quits after this season.

"First off, I don’t think this will be his last season," Mahomes said. "He’s still playing at a high level. But yeah, you want to beat the best, you want to go out and play against the best and give your best effort. But it’s a team game, your team has to beat his team. That’s a really good football team, this is a really tough environment to play in and so for us to find a way to win a game – it wasn’t pretty the whole time, it was just a tough, hard-fought win."

Mahomes and Brady met on the field after the game for a brief exchange, giving the reigning NFL MVP a chance to show his respect for the Patriots quarterback.

"I mean, just kind of the usual stuff you say as a quarterback," Mahomes said of his postgame talk with Brady. "Obviously, I have the utmost respect for him and the way he plays the game and the consistency and high-level football he’s played for 20 years or whatever it is. He’s built this place with [Bill] Belichick to be at the top of the league every single year, and so for us, it was a great game, but I’m still going to show him the respect he deserves."

Brady is in his 20th NFL season and has accomplished just about everything possible for a quarterback over his career. He's talked about playing until he's 45 years old, and even though the six-time Super Bowl champion has struggled over the last four or five games, he's still better than many of the starting quarterbacks in the league.

The real question might be whether Brady finishes his career with the Patriots. He's signed through the end of this season, giving him the ability to test free agency in 2020. 

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NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

NFL conference championships see ratings drop without Patriots

Love 'em or hate 'em, the New England Patriots garner the attention of the masses.

That was evident during last year's AFC Championship game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, when an average crowd of 53.9 million people tuned in to watch the Patriots win in an overtime thriller and advance to Super Bowl 53.

To put that into perspective, this year's late-window matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew only 42.7 million viewers, per Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily.

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Of course, much of that discrepancy has to do with Pats-Chiefs being far more competitive than Packers-Niners. Plenty of viewers likely tuned out of the latter matchup when San Francisco led Green Bay 27-0 at halftime.

Even so, it just goes to show how much more attention is paid to the NFL playoffs when Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the rest of New England is involved. This year's AFC Championship featuring the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs marked the first without the Patriots since 2011, and it was the smallest audience (41.1 million) for an AFC title game in 11 years.

In comparison, the early game in 2019 (Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints) averaged roughly 44 million.

The Chiefs and 49ers will meet in Miami for Super Bowl 54. It'll be interesting to see how those ratings compare to last year's Patriots-Rams matchup.

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George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle celebrated Super Bowl berth with hilarious Jimmy Garoppolo shirt

George Kittle had a little fun with his quarterback after the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers in Sunday night's NFC Championship Game to clinch a berth in Super Bowl LIV.

The All-Pro tight end showed up to his postgame press conference with a custom t-shirt that included a shirtless photo and autograph of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Check it out in the tweet below:

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Garoppolo was asked by reporters about Kittle's shirt, and he couldn't hold back his laughter.

“I got him earlier in the week with a shirt, showed it to the media and everything, so he had to get me back a little bit," a smiling Garoppolo said, per 95.7 The Game. "I thought it was a nice shirt he had on. Maybe we’ll get them in the team store soon.”

Garoppolo is no stranger to the Super Bowl. He made two Super Bowl appearances with the New England Patriots as Tom Brady's backup, and in two weeks he'll make his first start on that stage.

The 49ers quarterback hasn't had to play at an elite level for his team to reach the Super Bowl, but that should change in Miami on Feb. 2. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs have an offense that looks unstoppable right now, so Garoppolo likely will need to play one of his best games as a pro to give San Francisco a strong chance to win its sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

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