Move over Terry Bradshaw, you’ve now been surpassed by the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. In claiming his third Super Bowl last night, Mahomes won his 15th postseason games. He surpassed Bradshaw now for sole possession of third place for the most postseason wins in NFL history. Even reaching 13 at the start of this run represented a significant milestone.
Bradshaw’s 14 playoff wins were unprecedented at the time that he retired in the early 1980s. He won four Super Bowls along the way, a mark Mahomes has still yet to reach. But it wasn’t long before Joe Montana tied his Super Bowl wins mark and did so with 16 wins.
The San Francisco 49ers teams of the 1980s handed Bradshaw his first challenger. Tom Brady than proceeded to wipe the floor with everybody and has more than double anybody else’s win total. But Mahomes is now the third player in NFL history to pass Bradshaw and to reach 15 postseason wins.
Caveats are in order here. The league did not introduce the Wild Card round until 1978, by which point the Steelers did much of their heavy lifting already. That means before then a Super Bowl champion could not win four games. The Chiefs have only played in the Wild Card Round twice with Mahomes, however, including this season. He beat the San Francisco 49ers a second time, a rare feat in and of itself.
Incredibly, Kansas City was the underdog in each round after the Wild Card Round this year. They were not favored to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. They were not favored to beat the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. And they were supposed to lose to the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round as well. The Chiefs were fine with the role of underdog.
Equally incredibly, they trailed by at least 10 points in every single one of their four playoff games this season. They managed to come back in all of them to pull off the win, in one way or another. In the Super Bowl, it nearly took them into a second overtime to finish the job.
Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid have now won 15 playoff games together with the Chiefs. The duo thus passes Bradshaw and Chuck Noll for the second-most wins by a quarterback-coach combination in history. They trail only Tom Brady and Bill Belichick—who won 30 playoff games together. Nobody will catch that mark any time soon. That would take Mahomes and Reid a minimum of four more seasons.
The Chiefs have reached the playoffs in each of Mahomes’ six seasons as a starter. They have won at least one game in every season, and have won three or more on three occasions. The three years they won the Super Bowl, of course. You have to win at least three to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. They only needed to win three for two of them. For this last one, they needed four.
The Steelers have done that six games over their history. Kansas City now has four, three thanks to Mahomes. Can he bring them another? If he does, he will tie Bradshaw and Montana for the second-most Super Bowl in NFL history. They are all a fair distance behind Brady’s seven. But who knows what we will be saying about Mahomes a decade from now?