TAMPA, Fla. (NewsNation Now) —The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t buying all the talk about Tom Brady’s struggles. They insist he’s still playing at a high level and will have to be at their best to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The reigning Super Bowl champions (9-1) visit the Bucs (7-4) on Sunday, with Patrick Mahomes facing Brady for the fourth time in his young career and Brady looking to shrug off a couple of subpar performances against playoff contenders.
For years, elite NFL coaches like the Chief’s Andy Reid have praised the performances of Brady, Mr. Six Rings. And they do the same now with Mahomes, the NFL’s biggest playmaker.
“You can’t take anything away from Tom Brady. He’s still very smart, he’s still trying to throw the ball downfield, he still has the weapons. We’ll have our hands full,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said.
“He’s played against our system a number of times, even going back to New England,” Mathieu added. “He’s familiar with us. Now we have to get familiar with him and the weapons he has.”
Brady won two of the previous three matchups against Mahomes, including an overtime thriller in the AFC championship game two seasons ago.
They come into the showdown on different paths. Mahomes was heroic — again — in bringing Kansas City back at Las Vegas, avenging its only defeat this season.
But the six-time Super Bowl champion played poorly in home losses to New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams two of the past three weeks.
“We’ve got to get ready to play a great football team coming up,” Brady said. “Nothing has been great to this point. We’ve had some good wins, had some tough losses. Everything is about one week here in the NFL. We’re going to have to go play really, really well against a great football team next week.”.
Still, coach Reid cautioned against anyone writing off the 43-year-old quarterback.
“He’s unbelievable. He’s a great player, a Hall of Fame player. We’re lucky enough to have a chance to be in this era where we get to play him,” Reid said.
“He’s old, and it’s hard to tell he’s old,” Reid added. “And that’s a tribute to how he takes care of himself, and the care and living he does all the way around, from diet to workout to everything.”
The Chiefs have won five straight, the eighth consecutive year they’ve had a streak at least that long.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.