Just over a year ago, Tom Brady told Patrick Mahomes to "keep grinding" after the New England Patriots dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
It's safe to say Mahomes took that message to heart.
The Chiefs quarterback guided Kansas City to a thrilling comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl LIV and was named Super Bowl MVP after accounting for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) while throwing for 286 yards with two interceptions.
By winning MVP, Mahomes joined the company of the legend who defeated him last season.
Patrick Mahomes is the youngest QB to win Super Bowl MVP.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 3, 2020
He joined Tom Brady as the only ones to do so before turning 25. pic.twitter.com/sxd2M3G4EL
Mahomes narrowly passed Brady as the youngest quarterback ever to win Super Bowl MVP: Brady turned 25 the August after helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVI over the St. Louis Rams, while Mahomes turns 25 in September.
But Mahomes actually is ahead of Brady on one front: He's the first QB to win NFL MVP (in 2018) and Super Bowl MVP before turning 25. Brady's first NFL MVP award came in 2007 at age 30.
Mahomes is the first QB under 25 to win NFL MVP and a Super Bowl:— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 3, 2020
Brett Favre 27
Aaron Rodgers 28
Kurt Warner 28
Terry Bradshaw 30
Tom Brady 30
Mahomes also showed some Brady-esque poise this postseason by helping Kansas City rally from double-digit deficits in all three of its playoff games (vs. Houston, vs. Tennessee and vs. San Francisco).
And by rallying the Chiefs from a 20-10 hole in the fourth quarter Sunday, Mahomes became the first QB to complete a 10-plus-point comeback in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl since Brady, who did it twice with New England in Super Bowls XLIX and LI.
The quarterbacks that led their teams to victory after facing 10+ fourth quarter deficits in the Super Bowl:— Pats Pulpit (@patspulpit) February 3, 2020
Patrick Mahomes pic.twitter.com/8wL49y42s6
Like Brady, Mahomes pulled off Sunday's comeback at Kyle Shanahan's expense: The Niners head coach was the Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator when New England famously rallied from a 28-3 deficit to win Super Bowl LI.
Kyle Shanahan’s team has been outscored 46-0 inside the 4th quarter 10-minute mark of his last 2 Super Bowls (Super Bowl LI with Falcons in 2016 vs. Patriots). pic.twitter.com/Ox3r6hmGcT— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 3, 2020
Mahomes has a long way to go to catch Brady in Super Bowl titles (six), Super Bowl MVP awards (four) and NFL MVP awards (three).
But he's on pace with (if not ahead of) the GOAT in all three categories, which is a monumental achievement for Alex Smith's former backup.