In the second-ever Super Bowl to feature overtime, an unlikely hero emerged in the form of Mecole Hardman. The wideout who started the 2023 season on the New York Jets was brought back by the Kansas City Chiefs at the trade deadline, and was on the receiving end of the game-winning pass from Patrick Mahomes in the extra period to down the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22.
Back in October, the Chiefs sent the Jets a 2025 sixth-round pick in exchange for Hardman and a 2025 seventh-round pick. The Chiefs' former second-round pick caught just 14 passes for 118 yards and zero touchdowns in six regular-season games for Kansas City this season. In Super Bowl LVIII, he caught three passes for 57 yards, and, of course, the touchdown that mattered most.
Mahomes said after the game went final that Hardman had to battle through adversity this season, and that's a very accurate statement. Hardman didn't touch the ball on offense in the AFC Championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens, and had a rough go of it against the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round. In that matchup, Hardman caught one pass for 2 yards, and rushed once for -1 yards. He also fumbled twice, one of those hiccups costing Kansas City potential points and possession, as he lost the ball at the 1-yard line, and it went out of the end zone for a touchback. However, he was able to rally with the lights at their brightest, and came through when his number was called.
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