Overreaction #2: Trading for Mecole Hardman was the right move.
The trade for Mecole Hardman was a contentious move within the Chiefs Kingdom. The team let him walk in free agency for a reason, but a need arose, and Hardman has the scheme experience that money cannot buy. Well, Hardman proved his worth in the matter of two plays against the Chargers.
Hardman started the game with little impact. He was limited to a handful of fair catches and two targets from Mahomes in the first half. His second target, a deep pass up the near-side boundary, resulted in an Asante Samuel interception. The ball was underthrown, and the pick did not feel like Hardman's fault, but that visual seeing him as the closest receiver was not a good one.
The feelings started turning for the better when Kansas City needed Hardman most. In his first and only punt return of the day, Hardman had a 50-yard return to the Chargers' 35-yard line, putting the Chiefs in the driver's seat late in the fourth quarter.
It was an electric moment that the broadcast linked back to Dante Hall, who was inducted into the Chiefs Ring of Honor on Sunday. While it may not have been a perfect return, seeing Hardman split defenders with raw speed gave me chills.
Then Hardman came in the clutch again later that day. The Chiefs faced a 3rd-and-6th in the red zone, looking for a touchdown to put the game away for good. Hardman came through on a drag route, outracing his defender and gaining eight yards for the first down. Pacheco scored the very next play on a short screen pass, putting Kansas City up by 14 points with 3:30 to go in the game.
It was not a perfect game by far for Hardman, but he came through when it mattered most. He has a role in Kansas City and could carve out a good support role. But in his first game back, he left fans wanting more in all the right ways.