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Analyst Praises Chiefs’ Offensive Playmaker: ‘Turned a Corner’

One former NFL player-turned-TV analyst weighed in on the progress Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice has made this season.
Chiefs Rice

The Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver corps has been heavily scrutinized this season, and perhaps unrightfully. After all, the group has earned Pro Football Focus’ 11th-highest grade of the season for the position through Week 12. But they still lead the league in total drops and rank second in drop rate on the season, per Pro Football Reference.

There have been some promising developments in recent weeks, though.

“I think Rashee Rice turned a corner,” former NFL defensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Marcus Spears said on “Get Up” on November 29. “They figured out that they need to get him on the move and get the ball in his hands.”

ESPN’s Marcus Spears: Chiefs ‘Figured Out’ How to Use Rashee Rice

Rashee Rice Surging for Chiefs

The No. 55 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Rice had 245 yards and two touchdowns on 21 receptions in 28 targets over the first six weeks of the season.

Rice has amassed 282 yards and three touchdowns on 23 receptions in 28 targets over the last five weeks. More importantly, his overall snaps and snap rate have risen, reflecting the increased trust he is being shown by the coaches. Rice logged no more than 39 snaps over the first six weeks of the season.

He exceeded a 50% snap rate just once in that span.

Over the last five weeks, however, Rice has been below 40 snaps just once. He logged 37 snaps in the Chiefs’ Week 8 loss to the Denver Broncos. His snap rate has stayed at 57% or higher in that window.

Their record is worse in this latest stretch, going from 5-1 over the first six weeks to 3-2 over the last five weeks.

They are also scoring fewer points (from 24.5 Weeks 1-6 to 21.8 Weeks 7-12).

“I think this offense is – that Vegas game was exactly what they needed,” Spears continued. “They needed a shot in the arm, confidence. These receivers needed a confidence builder. And we know 15 is gonna put the ball where it needs to be. It’s just a matter of them catching it and taking it in.”

Kansas City’s 31 points in Week 12 were their most in a game since Week 7, tied their second-most of the regular season, and marked just their third time surpassing the 30-point barrier.

The Chiefs are undefeated this season when scoring at least 21 points. Since Mahomes’ first season as the starter (2018), they are 65-13 when scoring 21-plus points, per Stathead.

Tyreek Hill Takes 2023 Dolphins Over 2020 Chiefs

Former Chiefs star wideout Tyreek Hill helped the organization win its second Super Bowl in 2020. The Chiefs traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins ahead of last season. He has only continued with his dynamic playmaking ways. Always outspoken, Hill was asked if he believed this year’s Dolphins could win the Super Bowl.

“Of course [we can]. We got the perfect team to do it,” Hill said during an appearance on CBS Sports on November 28. “I won the Super Bowl, and I feel like this is probably the better team than when we won a Super Bowl back when I was on KC.”

Hill’s 1,324 yards are the most by any receiver through 11 games in NFL history.

He is just the eighth wideout to even surpass the 1,000-yard mark at this point of the regular season.

It’s not just Hill’s production that gives some credence to his argument, though. His Chiefs championship team ranked fifth in scoring averaging 28.2 points per game. Hill’s Dolphins are on pace to finish the season ranking second in scoring at 30.8 points per game. Time will tell if the Dolphins can be as successful this season as the Chiefs were then.

Main Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


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