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Chiefs Will Turn a New Page on Their Tom Brady Story in Week 4

Sunday could be the final chapter of the Chiefs-Brady story that is more significant than many think.
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Sunday night may be the final time the Kansas City Chiefs face off against a Tom Brady-quarterbacked team. Of course, they could face off in the Super Bowl again or Brady could play until he's 75 years old. Nothing is out of the question with him. 

If this is the final matchup, though, it will end an underrated rivalry between the Chiefs and Brady. There have been moments over the years for these two that have been more impactful than expected. Both sides squared off three times from the start of Brady's career until the beginning of the 2008 season, but the actual story starts in Week 1 of that 2008 campaign.

The New England Patriots were coming off a perfect regular season and a loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, in the first quarter of the game, Brady tore his ACL on a hit from Bernard Pollard. This injury knocked Brady out for the season, and Matt Cassel replaced him at quarterback. Cassel played well and led the Patriots to an 11-5 record. The following offseason, when Scott Pioli came over from New England to be the new Chiefs' next general manager, he brought Cassel along with him. Cassel played four seasons in Kansas City, but who knows what would have happened had he never taken the field in 2008. 

Sep 11, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid arrives on the field before facing the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic Nfl Kansas City Chiefs At Arizona Cardinals

For the first decade-plus of Brady's career, 2008 was the only significant matchup between the Chiefs and him. Since Andy Reid came to Kansas City, it has become a key event.

The first of these big games happened on Monday Night Football in 2014 in Kansas City. The Chiefs destroyed the Patriots while fans broke the world record for loudest stadium. After the game, the New England dynasty was proclaimed dead and Brady had presumably fallen off a cliff. The famous words "we're on to Cinncinati" were uttered by Bill Belichick immediately after the game. The Patriots used that game as a wake-up call and went on to win the Super Bowl that year. The following season, the Chiefs and the Patriots faced off in the Divisional Round of the playoffs with New England coming out on top, which signified the beginning of the end for Alex Smith in Kansas City.

Oct 8, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws in front of head coach Andy Reid before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After another Kansas City playoff loss the following year, the Chiefs realized they couldn't get over the hump with Smith at quarterback. So in the 2017 NFL Draft, they traded up to select Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes finally got the Chiefs to the promised land, but not before more battles with Brady. The first game the Chiefs played after drafting Mahomes was against Brady after he won his fifth Super Bowl. In the season's opening game, the Chiefs ruined New England's banner night. Smith played his best game as a Chief, and then-rookie running back Kareem Hunt had his coming-out party. Mahomes took over as the starter the following year, then the rivalry became a national story.

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Mahomes vs. Brady I happened in Week 6 of the 2018 season. The Chiefs were off to a blazing start, lighting the league on fire with their offense. They went into New England as their first test to see if they were ready to compete with the class of the AFC. That Sunday night game was a thriller, ending on a game-winning field goal by the Patriots, but that was not the last time Mahomes and Brady would face off that season. In the first AFC Championship at Arrowhead stadium in history, it was the original game that started talks about changing overtime rules as New England won the coin toss, Brady drove down the field for a touchdown and sent his team to the Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) reacts in the closing minutes of the team s 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. Gw52584

That offseason, the Chiefs front office's sole focus was improving the defense so they could beat Brady and the Patriots. Frank Clark, Tyrann Mathieu and others were added to improve the defense to help the prolific Chiefs offense. Kansas City finally got to see New England late in that year. Brady and his team had been and still were at the top of the conference, and the Chiefs were trying to knock off the top dogs. Mahomes and company ended up winning that game, which was super critical because of what ensued in Week 17.

Heading into the season's final week, New England was the No. 2 seed in the playoff picture with the Chiefs being the three-seed. Kansas City was at home against the Chargers and won while at the same time, Brady was playing against the Miami Dolphins and the Patriots lost on a late touchdown. This gave Mahomes and the Chiefs the No. 2, thus clinching a bye in the playoffs. Brady and the Patriots were bounced in the first round, and the Chiefs went on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the franchise's first Super Bowl victory in 50 years. This season marked the end of the Patriots vs. Chiefs rivalry that was building, but it wasn't the end of the Brady vs. Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason, who were scheduled to play the Chiefs that year. Kansas City came out firing in their first matchup. Tyreek Hill had 200 receiving yards in the first quarter, and the game was essentially over at halftime. With the win, Mahomes was 2-2 against Brady in his career. After that game, the Buccaneers were 7-5 and entering a bye week. They were no lock to make the playoffs, but something clicked for them after that outing against the Chiefs. 

The Buccaneers looked like a different team after the bye and rode the momentum all the way to the Super Bowl, where they would face off against... Mahomes and the Chiefs. This game was overshadowed by injuries to the Chiefs' offensive line, which prevented Mahomes and the offense from doing anything that night. Brady won his seventh ring, with this being against the Chiefs and probably the most important and impressive of his career.

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (left) greets Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes following Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brady is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. He has the accolades, statistics, and team success to back it up. However, with the career start that Mahomes is off to, many people have wondered if he can catch Brady. While we won't know have the answer for a long time, what we do know is the significance that Brady and the Chiefs have had to each other. 

Defining wins, losses and other moments over the years have impacted both sides both directly and indirectly. No matter what you think of Brady, he has been widely important to the NFL and has many significant ties to the Chiefs as a franchise. Maybe this will be the last time Brady and the Chiefs face off. If we can take anything away from history, though, it's that it will likely not be the end of this story.