Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes share a lot more in common than being two of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL.
After Tom Brady took home his seventh Super Bowl victory and first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday with a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, history has repeated itself.
In Mahomes’ first year as starter for Kansas City, the 2017 first-round pick led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship, where they eventually fell to the New England Patriots 37-31 in overtime. Wilson, too, led his Seahawks to the postseason in his first year as starter. The Seahawks QB threw for 385 yards and rushed for 60 yards to give his team the 28-27 lead over the Falcons in the Divisional Round before Atlanta kicked in the game-winning field goal.
In his second year, Wilson steered the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl championship in franchise history with a 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Rutherford, New Jersey. Mahomes also gave Kansas City its first Super Bowl victory in 50 years last season when the Chiefs went on to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20.
On Sunday in Tampa Bay, in Mahomes’ third year under center for Kansas City, the Chiefs bid to repeat as NFL champions was extinguished. Like Wilson who was robbed of his second-straight crown when the Patriots intercepted a goal-line pass in the final seconds, Brady got the final word in his 10th Super Bowl appearance.
As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained to ESPN, it’s an enormous undertaking to repeat as champions and there are several obvious reasons why.
“You think, '[We] won one year; why wouldn't you win the next year, too?'” Carroll said. “It's almost easier to get there and win it than it is to come back and do it the second time around. It's because of the shift that takes place once you win, and all that goes on through those months of the offseason and the buildup and then the anticipation going through the start of the year, all of the stories and the storylines and the scenarios and all of that, and the mentality of the players and what they've just accomplished.
"There's so much that goes into handling that, that I think the fact that KC is doing what they're doing is an amazing statement for their team, for their coaching staff...
But just like the Seahawks, the Chiefs will never know what it’s like to win two in row... at least for now. The silver lining is that Mahomes is only 25 years old, under contract in Kansas City until the 2031 season, and still has some of the most potent weapons by his side to keep the Chiefs in contention for years to come.
As for Wilson, the clock is ticking. The 32-year-old has yet to return to the Super Bowl since that fateful loss to the G.O.A.T.