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If he loses Super Bowl, Patrick Mahomes can’t catch Tom Brady, Tony Romo says

Super Bowl 55 is “a legacy game” to the CBS analyst, like LeBron James facing Michael Jordan.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, and then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speak at midfield after a 2019 game in Foxborough, Mass. Mahomes will have no chance of matching Brady's career if the Chiefs don't beat the Bucs in the Super Bowl, CBS analyst Tony Romo said.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, and then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speak at midfield after a 2019 game in Foxborough, Mass. Mahomes will have no chance of matching Brady's career if the Chiefs don't beat the Bucs in the Super Bowl, CBS analyst Tony Romo said. [ STEVEN SENNE | AP ]
Published Jan. 29

CBS lead NFL analyst Tony Romo will talk plenty about the matchup of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes from now until the end of Super Bowl 55.

And the former Cowboys quarterback expects that conversation to continue for decades.

“This game is bigger than people realize,” Romo said Thursday on a media Zoom call. “Twenty, 30, 40, 50 years from now, this is the game people are going to go back to.”

Romo’s hype is based on the quarterbacks’ places in their careers going into the Feb. 7 game between the teams at Raymond James Stadium that will be broadcast on CBS. Brady, joining the Bucs at age 43 in offseason free agency, has a chance to cement his standing as the best ever with a seventh Super Bowl win in 10 tries. Mahomes, in his fourth pro season and looking for a second straight Super Bowl win at 25, needs a victory for the chance to someday usurp Brady.

“I think it’s a legacy game, I really do,” Romo said. “(It’s) one of the great matchups in sports history. This matchup right here is what you talk about with your friends.”

Trying to think of comparisons for the Brady-Mahomes matchup, the best Romo could come up with was a time-shifting NBA Finals matchup featuring an older Michael Jordan against a young LeBron James.

“It would be the greatest thing in the history of sports,” Romo said. “And I’m like, ‘I think we might have that Super Bowl. We might have that game.’ "

Jordan, like Brady, was so good, he became the face of the NBA, Romo said. James, like Mahomes, came along with the potential to one day challenge him.

“LeBron James is chasing Michael Jordan. He’s been his entire career,” Romo said. “Jordan set the bar so high. LeBron has to be so amazing to get in the discussion, and he is. Somehow, he’s put himself in that discussion. The fact that Patrick Mahomes is somehow even remotely in this discussion (with Brady) shows you how amazing this guy is.”

Another example, Romo said, would be Tiger Woods dueling Jack Nicklaus in a golf tournament when both were in their prime.

Framed that way, Romo said, a win in this Super Bowl is much more important to Mahomes, who has beaten Brady two of three times in regular-season play but lost to him in the 2019 AFC Championship Game.

“This is the biggest game Patrick Mahomes will ever play in for the rest of his career,” Romo said. “It’s the only way to catch Tom Brady. He has to win this game. If he loses this game, he cannot catch Tom Brady, in my opinion.”

Chiefs adjusting to different Super Bowl routine

Among the many differences with this Super Bowl compared with previous ones, the Chiefs won’t fly to Tampa this weekend to settle in. Instead, they will stay in Kansas City until a day or two before the game.

The change, driven by the NFL’s coronavirus protocols, is designed to keep the team safer in its usual environment.

It also will make for fewer distractions as the Chiefs practice and prepare for the Bucs. But the changes, such as doing interviews virtually, take away some of the Super Bowl experience they enjoyed last year in Miami.

“It kind of sucks that all of the fun gets taken out of the media (day), walking onstage and just meeting different people,” Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill said on a Zoom call after Thursday’s practice. “But at the end of the day, it’s still football. We’re going to go down there and just play ball.

“Luckily for us, we had the chance to go down there and play them earlier in the year (a 27-24 Chiefs win Nov. 29). So I feel like that’s kind of an advantage for us, knowing the field, knowing the weather, and just things like that.”

Even though the interviews will be done from Kansas City, they still will take time. So coach Andy Reid said the Chiefs will install their game plan this week.

“I just want to make sure we have everything in,” Reid said. “And we can review it as we go.”

Reid said all Kansas City’s players practiced except injured left tackle Eric Fisher, who suffered a torn left Achilles tendon in the AFC Championship Game against the Bills on Sunday. Fisher is not expected to play against the Bucs.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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