Following the most impressive performance of his young career, Rashee Rice drew praise from the Chiefs for helping deliver a playoff win.
In years past, the Kansas City Chiefs’ formula for playoff wins was a steady diet of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. In their first postseason outing of the 2023-24 campaign, Mahomes still got his moments in but the team also leaned on its defense and a non-Kelce offensive weapon to help get the job done.
In a 26-7 win over the Miami Dolphins, it was rookie Rashee Rice who stepped up to the plate on Wild Card Weekend.
According to head coach Andy Reid, however, it’s getting more and more difficult to believe that Rice is still in his first season.
“Rice, for his day, it’s hard to believe that he’s a rookie,” Reid said. “Eight catches for 130 yards, that’s tremendous.”
After a regular season that saw him make 16 starts, get targeted 102 times, and record 79 receptions for 938 yards and seven touchdowns, Rice was once again excellent. In his playoff debut, all he did was log another 12 targets, eight receptions, a career-best 130 yards and a score with a separate touchdown getting wiped away due to a penalty. Seventy-five of Rice’s yards came after the catch, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. He feasted against Miami’s off coverage. In the process, he broke a rookie franchise record for receiving yards in a playoff game.
Following the conclusion of Saturday’s contest, Reid was asked if there was a time he began to know how rare of a find Rice was. He wouldn’t admit to that, but he did say the second-round pick is standing out because of the work he puts in.
“Well, we were hoping he was as good as what we saw at SMU,” Reid said. “I’ll tell you, the best part about him is he just keeps working. He’s relentless with that, and he’s got a good relationship [with Mahomes]. He’s got Pat’s respect and he wants to do it the right way. I know how many times I stood up in front of you and said, ‘We’re this close with him.’ He’s getting better every week. I think we’ve seen that the last four games, five games.”