Chiefs Finally Win One. Brady and Belichick Appear Primed for a Rematch.

Written by on February 3, 2020

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — For the primary time in what felt like endlessly, America was handled to a Tremendous Bowl with out the New England Patriots on Sunday. The upstart San Francisco 49ers, with their smothering protection, took on the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and their wunderkind quarterback Patrick Mahomes. With growing older stars like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees additionally watching the sport at house, the Tremendous Bowl appeared like a debutante celebration for the N.F.L.’s subsequent era.

But by way of all of it, the Patriots, who final missed this large stage within the 2015 season, loomed over Onerous Rock Stadium like a blimp commanded by the same old villains, Tom Brady and Coach Invoice Belichick. The leaders of the N.F.L.’s most enduring dynasty, which gave the impression to be on demise’s door three weeks in the past when the Patriots slinked out of the playoffs, all however taunted N.F.L. followers with their mere presence, as if grabbing for the torch being handed.

Brady and Belichick had been each on the sector earlier than the sport, when the highest 100 gamers in N.F.L. historical past had been launched to honor the league’s centennial season. Brady was proven palling round along with his boyhood idol, Joe Montana, in addition to with different nice quarterbacks, comparable to Brett Favre, John Elway and Dan Marino. Brady, after all, is the one one nonetheless enjoying.

Then the cameras panned to Belichick, and the boos rained down on the coach who’s third on the N.F.L.’s profession wins record. Belichick let loose a hearty snort, lifted his palms to the digicam and confirmed off three of his six Tremendous Bowl rings. Level made: I’m nice and I’ll be coming for extra.

After kickoff, Brady wasn’t finished, making the purpose in, what else, a multimillion-dollar tv industrial. In an advert for the streaming service Hulu, Brady mocked the priority about his future, which he had stoked final week with a cryptic publish to his social media accounts. Hulu leaned into the concerns.

“They are saying all good issues should come to an finish,” Brady stated in Sunday’s advert whereas strolling into Gillette Stadium, the house of the Patriots. “So it’s time to say goodbye to TV as we all know it.”

Cue anxiousness.

“However me? I’m not going anyplace.”

Brady can change into a free agent subsequent month for the primary time in his lengthy profession. Patriots followers could concern the worst, with Brady reportedly garnering curiosity from the Raiders and Chargers. However one factor seems sure: No person must be stunned if Brady is enjoying soccer subsequent season.

Brady had crashed the Tremendous Bowl earlier than. Forward of Tremendous Bowl 50, in February 2016, a recreation between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, he was launched with different Tremendous Bowl greats. The Patriots made it to the Tremendous Bowl the subsequent three seasons.

One of many keys to that run was considered one of Brady’s favourite receivers, tight finish Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski retired final yr, however he made a splash final week partying with followers in South Seaside. On Sunday, he was proven yucking it up with Brady and different Patriots elected to the N.F.L.’s workforce of the highest 100 gamers in its historical past.

Not going anyplace means Brady will likely be again giving suits to the Chiefs, 49ers and each different workforce subsequent season.

Nonetheless, Brady, maybe the best-known participant of his era, is hardly the face of the league anymore. Peyton Manning and Favre appeared in additional nationwide advert campaigns throughout their enjoying days, and their aw-shucks demeanor endeared them to followers throughout the nation. Brady and his superstar spouse are extra secluded from view.

There was daylight Sunday for a breakthrough.

Proper on cue, Mahomes, final yr’s most respected participant and one of many league’s greatest stars, overcame a tough begin in his Tremendous Bowl debut to engineer a shocking fourth-quarter comeback to steer the Chiefs to their first Tremendous Bowl title in a half-century. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, as soon as Brady’s understudy in New England, faltered down the stretch. Chiefs 31, 49ers 20. Season over. New period underway. Perhaps.

After the sport, Chiefs defensive finish Frank Clark declared the Patriots dynasty lifeless.

Mahomes is the brand new face of the league. At 24, he’s the second-youngest quarterback to win a Tremendous Bowl. He has appeared in nationwide ads for Head & Shoulders and State Farm insurance coverage. He had the top-selling jersey this season.

Final week, Chiefs tight finish Travis Kelce was requested if successful the Tremendous Bowl would make Mahomes the brand new face of the N.F.L. “I feel he already is, should you ask me,” he stated.

“He’s bought an extended shelf life, barring severe harm, and he’s on a workforce that may very well be a contender for a very long time,” Bob Dorfman, a advertising and marketing govt from San Francisco who tracks athlete endorsements, stated of Mahomes.

Brady and Belichick, after all, know all about being contenders for a very long time. And don’t guess in opposition to them coming again and contending once more subsequent yr.

Benjamin Hoffman contributed reporting.

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