Mecole Hardman says he got 'greedy' and 'selfish' with returns

Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman said the loss to the Broncos was on him in Week 8.
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

Mecole Hardman wants to take responsibility for the loss. Get in line.

The Kansas City Chiefs were embarrassed at Mile High Stadium by the Denver Broncos in Week 8 in a lopsided 24-9 loss in which nothing seemed to go right for the visiting team. But one very timely error moved the Chiefs from striking distance to out of reach, and Mecole Hardman was sorry after the game for his part in the loss.

In case you missed it, Hardman had a game to forget against the Broncos, to be sure. The Chiefs were only down 14-9 at the moment that Hardman went back to field a punt deep in the Chiefs' own territory. The kick came down around the five-yard line and, for some reason, Hardman felt compelled to return it. But that wasn't his only mistake.

Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman said the loss to the Broncos was on him in Week 8.

Yes, that's a muffed punt that not only kept the Chiefs offense from taking the field but it gifted the home team with a first-and-goal that they easily turned into a touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton. Just like that, the Broncos were up by two scores.

To make matters worse, Hardman still made further errors as a returner, although none as egregious as that mistake. On the next punt forced by the Chiefs defense, Hardman ended up running backwards and then sideways, giving up an extra 10 yards or so late in the game when the Chiefs offense was already struggling so much to move the chains.

Following the game, Hardman spoke with reporters and was quick to say the right things. It doesn't change the fact of the outcome or that mistakes were made, but Hardman thought it was important to point out his errors all the same and take the blame for them.

“I got greedy. I got selfish. … that’s the reason we probably lost the game. I definitely take responsibility for losing that game," said Hardman, per Sam McDowell.

One week ago, Hardman had a troublesome first half against the Chargers in his first game back since being traded to Kansas City by the New York Jets. The good news is that he recovered nicely and had an morale-boosting punt return and an important catch for a first down and provided a significant boost to the Chiefs in a winning effort.

This week, Hardman can only hope he'll bounce back from another unsettling performance—one he described as "greedy" and "selfish." He's not wrong.