The Chiefs were trailing 10-7 in the second quarter and were facing a third-and-20. Hardman got loose in the secondary and Mahomes found him for a 42-yard touchdown.
Hardman did not have a catch in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was used as a return man mostly in the first game but he will see an increase in his role as a wide receiver with Tyreek Hill expected to miss at least a month of action.
The Chiefs drafted Hardman in the second round of April’s draft. He played on some of the best teams in the nation when he was with the Georgia Bulldogs. Hardman did not have gaudy numbers as a receiver but his skills were visible. Hardman had 60 catches for 943 yards and 13 touchdowns in two seasons at Georgia.
Hardman is a tremendous athlete. He is a receiver who plays like Hill. Coming into the league, there were concerns about his hands and holding onto the ball. He had fumbling issues while at Georgia but his skill set was too good for the Chiefs not to take a chance on. Hardman ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine. He showed off that speed on his first career touchdown.
With Hill on the shelf, Hardman is the likely candidate to take over his role. This does not mean that Hardman will be the No. 1 receiver on the team but he is the receiver that can mimic Hill the best.
Hardman Scores in Big Second Quarter
Hardman caught one of four touchdown passes in the second quarter for Patrick Mahomes. He completely picked apart the secondary of the Raiders after falling behind 10-0.
Demarcus Robinson got the scoring started with a long touchdown reception. From there, it was Hardman, Travis Kelce, and Robinson again. The Chiefs scored 28 points in the second quarter, 21 of them coming in the final six minutes of the half. This would be the only points that they scored in the game but their defense was able to keep the Raiders in check.
Robinson led the way for the Chiefs with six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 1, it was Sammy Watkins with the breakout game once Hill went out. Even without their speedster, the Chiefs still have one of the best offenses in the league.
Kelce is the best tight end in the NFL. As long as Mahomes is on the field, the offense in Kansas City is going to be electric. Hardman is looking to become the next big thing on an already strong offense. He certainly has the potential to do so. This long touchdown from Mahomes to Hardman is something that Chiefs’ fans are hoping to see for a long time. Even when Hill returns, it will be hard to keep the rookie on the bench because of his ceiling being so high.