As Super Bowl LV looms and the build-up intensifies, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Tom Brady have taken center stage amid the usual pregame pomp and circumstance in a most unusual season.
The two were together on that aforementioned centerstage via Zoom on Monday with NFL Network's Kay Adams on Super Bowl Opening Night.
Though separated by roughly 18 years in age, the respect they possess for each other is apparent.
Regardless of his upcoming Super Bowl opponent being 43, the 25-year-old Mahomes is astonished by his belief that Brady is still improving.
"It seems like every single year he's just getting better. It truly is amazing to watch," Mahomes said. "And it's amazing to go up against, cause you know you're going up against the best."
This will be the fifth Brady-Mahomes matchup and they're deadlocked at 2-2, with Brady -- then with the Patriots -- having bested Mahomes' Chiefs in the 2018 AFC Championship Game. It still stands as Mahomes' only postseason defeat.
As Mahomes has turned the NFL upside down with his stellar play in just three seasons as a starter, his skillset has astounded many, including Brady. When asked by Adams if he could steal any attribute from Mahomes what would it be, Brady answered with an elongated list of the 2018 AP Most Valuable Player's many, many talents.
"He just has a great awareness of the pocket. Incredible vision of the field, he knows exactly when to get rid of the ball. He's got great poise in the pocket," Brady said. "He's got that nice, sweet little whippy arm that I used to have when I was a little bit younger. He's got the athletic ability to extend plays. He's got all the physical and he's got all the mental tools. He's gonna be in this game quite a few more times in my opinion."
Mahomes is vying for his second Super Bowl win, while Brady is going for an eye-popping seventh.
Brady's experience is one of the reasons he's impressed with what Mahomes has done this campaign in the aftermath of winning a Super Bowl.
"To bring his team right back to the Super Bowl, which is incredibly tough to do, because you're getting every team's best game, you know every week [is impressive]," Brady said. "He's facing a lot of unique challenges at an early age that are just going to keep serving him well."
A matchup viewed by many as the greatest quarterback showcase in Super Bowl history is on the way Sunday between Brady and Mahomes. And the respect is just as prevalent as the accolades and ability.