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Let’s Argue: Mecole Hardman is who makes the Chiefs’ offense go

Our Mark Gunnels takes on all your hot takes, wacky predictions and unpopular opinions.

Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Welcome to this week’s edition of Let’s Argue!

Let’s Argue is a returning weekly series that looks at hot takes, unpopular opinions, wacky predictions and more from Kansas City Chiefs fans.

Mecole Hardman is who makes the Chiefs’ offense go

You don’t miss what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

When it comes to Kansas City’s fourth-year wide receiver, that saying fits perfectly. Prior to his current injury, the former second-round pick hasn’t missed a game.

While both fans and media members have been critical of Hardman’s development, much of it has been unfair — simply because of the high expectations that come from being behind Tyreek Hill. If there’s one thing we’ve learned this season, we’ve learned that Hill is truly one of one.

While the Chiefs' offense has been just fine without Hardman, it’s easy to see where it’s missing him. Without Hardman, the unit lacks a dynamic ability. One thing you can’t teach is speed — and when it’s not there, it’s obivous.

Hardman is like having a cheat code, because you can just motion him and hand the ball to him — especially in the red zone.

Remember the San Francisco game? Hardman had three red zone touchdowns in that matchup — all of them on variations of the same play.

The Chiefs need to run quarterback sneaks

The last time Kansas City ran a quarterback sneak was three years ago in Denver. On that play, Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap.

Considering what happened, it’s easy to understand why head coach Andy Reid has stayed away from sneaks sine then. At the same time, the Chiefs have struggled in short-yardage situations.

If Kansas City fans see another Michael Burton fullback dive third-and-short, they might pull their hair out. Asked about it earlier this season, Mahomes teased reporters.

“My plan is to save it until the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said. “I might go over the top this time to save that knee.”

Spagnuolo blitzing and playing press man gives the Chiefs the best chance to get off the field

A lot of fans won’t like this — but it’s the truth.

With the way Kansas City’s defense is set up, you have to pick your poison. If you play soft coverage, the opposition just milks the clock and as they methodically go down the field. But if you’re aggressive, you can put the offense behind the chains — or make them give up a big play downfield.

While there’s a boom-or-bust element to the latter approach, at least Mahomes isn’t sitting on the sideline for long stretches. Besides... the Chiefs’ young cornerbacks are better-suited to play man coverage instead of zone.

Still, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has to be selective about when he sends pressure. If it’s third-and-27, it’s probably best to play it safe — keeping everything in front of you.

Not re-signing Charvarius Ward was a critical mistake.

Since joining the San Francisco 49ers, Ward has been starting to get more national recognition. It certainly helps that the 49ers undoubtedly have the league’s best defense.

But the main reason for that is Nick Bosa and rest of the team’s front four. Having a front that can get consistent pressure on the quarterback makes the jobs of defensive backs a lot easier.

That isn’t to take away from what Ward has been doing — but in the secondary, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach has made it very clear that he’s willing to build through the draft. Thus far, that’s been paying off.

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