Overreaction #3: Rashee Rice is unquestionably WR1 for the Chiefs.
The season's halfway point is nearing, and fans should start forgetting the preseason narratives if they have not already. One of them that sticks out is Kadarius Toney and his potential to be Kansas City's top wide receiver. Move over potential, because production is here in the form of rookie Rashee Rice.
Rice finished Sunday's game with 6 targets and 5 catches, resulting in 60 yards and 1 touchdown. Most of that came on a 37-yard reception late in the second quarter, getting the Chiefs nearly to midfield as the two-minute warning approached. He snagged another touchdown in the back of the end zone earlier that quarter. The Chiefs continue to target Rice in the red zone, as he leads all Chiefs-not-named-Kelce in red-zone targets.
The play that gave me hope was Rice's bully run on a screen late in the fourth quarter. His ability to stick to the screen tunnel and gain more yards after contact with the truck stick is a refreshing change from the Chiefs' receiving corps. Many receivers tend to move horizontally on a screen play, but Rice immediately goes north to south and demolishes a defender in the process.
Screen game, short routes, deep routes—Rice is getting involved in all areas of the passing game. He is certainly breaking the mold of rookies in Andy Reid's scheme. He credits veterans who "have helped him hit the ground running," according to KHSB 41 reporter Aaron Ladd. That is the only conceivable way Rice leads all wide receivers in yards, receptions, and touchdowns seven games into the season.
In Kansas City's prolific passing offense, Rashee Rice is the top option out wide. Crown him.