LAS VEGAS — Mecole Hardman Jr. didn’t know he made the Super Bowl-winning catch at first.
Hardman, who began the season as a Jet, said he blacked out after catching the 3-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes that decided Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday night. Kansas City won, 25-22, with three seconds left in overtime on Hardman’s grab.
“I caught the football and I blacked out, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I blacked out. I seen Pat coming toward me and I said, ‘Oh, we just won.’ The rest is history.”
“I knew, but when you black out, and then you come back to reality,” Hardman said. “It was one of those moments where I blinked and it snapped and I’m like, ‘Oh, we won it.’ ”
The play was similar to one that Kansas City ran — twice — in last year’s Super Bowl victory over Philadelphia. Both of them resulted in touchdowns.
Hardman lined up on the right, motioned to the left, then stopped and went right again. Mahomes rolled to the right. San Francisco’s defenders on that side were chasing Mahomes and Hardman was wide open.
Mahomes ran into the end zone and hugged Hardman.
“The motion is the exact same motion that we ran in the Super Bowl last year,” the quarterback said.
“It’s called ‘Tom and Jerry,’ ” Hardman said. “When I seen the cornerback up, I knew I was going to get the ball.”
Hardman, who also caught a 52-yard pass earlier in the game, called this season “a roller coaster.”
The Jets signed him away from Kansas City last offseason, believing he would be a versatile weapon for Aaron Rodgers. Hardman wasn’t entirely healthy in camp and eventually was beaten out by undrafted rookie free agent Xavier Gipson.
Hardman played in five games for the Jets, was targeted three times and caught one pass for 6 yards. The Jets traded him back to Kansas City in October and he was a difference-maker in capturing his third Super Bowl with this Mahomes-led team.
“I couldn’t be happier for my guy,” Travis Kelce said. “I’ll tell you what, it brought me to tears seeing that he was the man that got us this ring. Sometimes the media world can be pretty harsh on a guy. Mecole is one of my favorite teammates ever because he just keeps showing up and he keeps trying to find ways to win. Had a huge play for us early on that kind of sparked us and on top of that found a way to win for us. When everybody counted him out, even the Jets counted him out, we were so excited when he got back in the building because he’s the kind of guy that brings everybody together.”
Hardman was frustrated with the Jets, but he couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.
“[There were] a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “Going through a lot, especially with an injury trying to start off with a new team, didn’t really play. KC welcomed me back with open arms, and to get here to the Super Bowl, and for it to end how it ended, I don’t think I’d want it no other way.”