Chiefs ‘Tom and Jerry’ play, explained: Andy Reid breaks down Super Bowl 58-winning touchdown call

Whether the 49ers knew it or not, their hopes of winning Super Bowl 58 were extraordinarily low as soon as the Chiefs were set up with a 1st-and-goal scenario in overtime. 

Any team has at least a decent chance of scoring when just a few yards out from the end zone, but with Andy Reid calling plays for Kansas City, everyone watching at home just knew he had something special up his sleeve.

Sure enough, Patrick Mahomes found Mecole Hardman for what was a relatively easy touchdown pass to win a championship. Very little of what Mahomes does can be described as easy, but the play unfolded so perfectly that the pass to Hardman amounted to a layup.

What was the thought process behind the play? Reid took fans behind the scenes and broke down the play for NBC Sports’ Peter King after the win.

MORE: Andy Reid, Travis Kelce squash retirement rumors

Chiefs’ ‘Tom and Jerry’ play, explained

The play was very similar to the “corn dog” call that helped the Chiefs beat the Eagles in Super Bowl 57. In fact, Mahomes credited “corn dog” with winning Super Bowl 58 for Kansas City on Sunday night. According to Reid, this play wasn’t exactly the same motion as “corn dog,” though.

The play, named “Tom and Jerry,” is a “cousin” of the corn dog motion, according to The Athletic. Corn dog resulted in a pivotal Kadarius Toney touchdown in Kansas City’s Super Bowl 57 victory.

On the game-winning play, you can hear Mahomes call out the play involving the “Tom and Jerry” component. 

The revised play was designed to fool the 49ers’ defense in man coverage, and it worked as intended. Two San Francisco defenders followed Travis Kelce, who ran a corner route while Hardman ran free toward the end zone.

Hardman made a quick movement toward Mahomes at the start of the play, but he reversed as soon as the ball was snapped, saw defenders following Kelce, and cut in the direction of the pylon. With no one covering Hardman, he was able to walk right into the end zone untouched.

Reid calmly broke down the play on Sunday night, not long after it made him one of five head coaches with three or more Super Bowl wins. 

“Tom and Jerry right, one-way play. We don’t have a lot of one-way plays, but this is it,” Reid said, noting that two tight ends and a running back are on the field while Hardman goes in motion.

“And that gives you a little corn dog with some mustard and ketchup,” Reid told King. 

Hardman might not have known that a touchdown would win the game, but he did know the ball was coming his way not long after the ball was snapped. “I knew they were going to double Trav, and as soon as I saw the corner drop off, I knew I was getting the ball,” Hardman told reporters after the game. 

The Chiefs’ offense struggled more in 2023 than it did at any other point in the Mahomes era, but Reid — who once had a reputation for not being able to win big in the playoffs — has proven to be unsinkable as his career progresses. “Tom and Jerry” is the latest example of why. 

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