Chiefs Stock Watch, Week 7: Mecole Hardman returns home with a flourish

Mecole Hardman returns on the day Dante Hall gets enshrined into the Chiefs Ring Of Honor and responds with a performance that would make The Human Joystick proud.
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
1 of 5

For the fourth time in a row (and 15 out of the past 19 matchups), the Chiefs emerged victorious over the Los Angeles Chargers with a 31-17 win in Week 7.

Travis Kelce had a career-best 143 yards in the first half on nine receptions and a touchdown on top. Patrick Mahomes was dealing early, too, going 20 for 23 for 321 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs offense took advantage of the Chargers putrid pass defense all night. The Chiefs offense slowed down in the second half, but the defense stood tall by shutting out Justin Herbert and the Chargers and coming up with the game-sealing interception.

The AFC West is now all but won before Halloween, with the Chiefs already sporting a three-game advantage over the second-place Las Vegas Raiders of all teams. Now, look at some of the players trending after Sunday afternoon's victory.

Stock Up: Mecole Hardman

Welcome back to Kansas City, Mecole Hardman! There were a lot of skeptics, yours truly among them, who felt like Hardman would make little impact on this team. He wasn't earning playing time with the New York Jets. K.C. had already said goodbye once in the offseason. The Chiefs also already had players who could do what Hardman could.

Hardman's first appearance was less than inspirational when he dropped a third-down pass on the game's first drive. Football games typically last more than one drive, however, and Hardman made his mark when it mattered the most in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs' defense just held the Chargers to a three-and-out and were holding on to a 24-17 lead when Hardman caught a punt with some room to operate. He made the first guys miss and turned on the afterburners to run by at least four more Chargers defenders on his way to a 50-yard return, the second-longest punt return of his career. It was especially fitting because this was the day that Dante Hall, the only X-Factor recognized in these parts, was enshrined in the Chiefs' Ring Of Honor.

Hardman capped off his return to Kansas City with a big-time reception on a third down on the ensuing drive, which led to the game-sealing touchdown. It was a wonderful homecoming for Mecole Hardman, and here's hoping that he continues producing for the Chiefs.