5 Kansas City Chiefs who helped themselves most in the regular season finale

These Chiefs seized the opportunity given to them in the regular-season finale against the Chargers.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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2. Mecole Hardman

The Chiefs have been a flaming disaster at wide receiver this season outside of rookie Rashee Rice. The two biggest disappointments have been Marquez Valdez-Scantling as their field-stretching deep threat and Kadarius Toney as their big-play gadget player. At this point, I don't have any real hope that either of those two will turn it around in the playoffs. However, Mecole Hardman showed flashes of being able to make plays in both of those roles in this game.

Before I get to the good, let's be honest about the bad. Hardman had two drops and gave up on a deep ball that he couldn't find in the air which led to an interception. That sounds exactly like the kind of thing that has hurt K.C.'s offense this season. Here's the thing, though: guys like MVS, Toney, and Skyy Moore were making those mistakes without any real positive plays to counteract them. Hardman was at least able to contribute some really nice plays to offset his mistakes.

Hardman ended up with 6 catches for 77 yards on Sunday, including a 37-yard grab and a couple of nice contested catches where he had to fight for the ball. Big plays and fighting for the football are two things the Chiefs offense has desperately needed. If Hardman can even just contribute a couple of nice plays per game in the playoffs, it could be the difference in those couple of drives leading to points instead of punts.

Hardman could also help open things up for Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice if defenses have to respect his deep speed coming out of the slot. If Mahomes is able to connect with Hardman on one deep ball early, it could make life easier for the rest of the pass catchers for the rest of the game. That's something K.C. has needed from MVS all season, and he just hasn't been able to deliver. Hopefully, this game was a sign that Hardman may be able to at least help fill that role during K.C.'s playoff run.

Finally, let's talk about the Chiefs player that rose his stock the most.