Scoring the game-winning touchdown, former New York Jets wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. sealed the deal for the Kansas City Chiefs to secure a 25-22 win over the San Fransisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.
Despite winning Super Bowl LIV and LVII with the Chiefs after the team drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Kansas City let Hardman walk in free agency in March 2023. In hopes of improving their offense, the New York Jets chose to sign a $4 million contract including a $2.5 million signing bonus with the speedy, versatile wide receiver.
Between lack of playing time and quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting injured, Hardman unfortunately only played in five games for the Jets. He was targeted just three times and caught one six-yard pass before being sent back to Kansas City who originally drafted him.
On October 18, 2023, Mecole Hardman and a 2025 seventh-round pick were traded to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick. He quickly made an impact on his return during his first game back after a 50-yard punt return to LA’s 35-yard line in the fourth quarter to help clinch the 31-17 Chiefs win.
While most are still unsure as to why it didn’t work out with the Jets, Hardman added immense depth and speed to Kansas City’s roster and was happy to be back. His hard work and threatening play-making ability certainly played off, especially in Super Bowl LVIII.
Slow Super Bowl Speeds Up
After a slow back-and-forth affair, things started to heat up in the fourth quarter for the Las Vegas Super Bowl match-up. Tied 19-19 heading into overtime, 49ers kicker Jake Moody hit a 27-yard field goal to give San Francisco a three-point lead. Mahomes set the Chiefs up in the red zone with a fourth-down run and a scramble paired with Travis Kelce’s seven-yard catch. It wasn’t until there were 13 seconds left that quarterback Patrick Mahomes reached Hardman for a three-yard pass, catching the game-winning touchdown to take home the Lombardi trophy and win the game, 25-22.
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
As both the stadium and the Chiefs roared with excitement, it took some time for Hardman to register what had just happened, claiming he “blacked out” during his winning touchdown.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 12, 2024
A Prophecy Come True?
While Kansas City fans are ecstatic to see the Chiefs take it all home, many viewers immediately recalled Mecole Hardman’s appearance on HBO’s television series “Hard Knocks”. While Hardman was still with the New York Jets at this time, he predicted that he would face (and beat) the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
— Oz Pearlman (@OzTheMentalist) January 29, 2024
The Kansas City Chiefs are back-to-back Super Bowl Champions, and the NFL season has come to an end.
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