One of the biggest storylines around the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2023 NFL season has been their lack of weapons around Patrick Mahomes. The team lost a few weapons in the offseason and it hasn’t been as powerful as in previous years.

However, their 8-3 record suggests that things are still not that bad. One of the reasons for that may be the emergence of rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, who has been Mahomes’ most reliable target among the wideouts.

Last time out, the SMU product caught eight passes for 107 yards and a touchdown to help the Chiefs claim a commanding win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Speaking to reporters, Mahomes explained how Rice is becoming a key teammate for him.

“[It is about] how you work, I think that’s the biggest thing. If guys continue to work and continue to practice, and I get a feel for how they run routes and a feel for how they’re seeing stuff on the football field, it just makes my job easier. Guys have done that throughout my career, and [Rice] has done a great job of that in year one, which doesn’t happen a lot of times with receivers,” Mahomes said, via Chiefs Wire. “The goal for him now is to keep working, keep getting better, don’t be satisfied with where he’s at, and hopefully get him more bigger games as his career goes on.”

Mahomes praises Rice’s evolution

The Chiefs selected Rice in the second round of this year’s draft, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. The 23-year-old is leading the WR group in receiving yards (527), touchdowns (5), and receiving yards per game (47.9). Only tight end Travis Kelce has posted better numbers so far, though he’s tied with Rice in TDs.

He’s getting a lot better,” Mahomes said of Rice. “He doesn’t make the same mistakes. I think that’s the biggest thing. There are little things here and there where we might not be on the same page, but once we talk about it on the sideline, he doesn’t make that mistake again.

While Tyreek Hill’s departure in 2022 was a huge blow, the Chiefs still managed to win the Super Bowl that season. But things haven’t been easy this season, as Rice has been the only wideout to produce decent stats. Mahomes is glad with how the rookie settled in the NFL and his adjustment to playing against zone coverage.

That’s why you see he’s getting better and better throughout the season. It’s one thing to be able to beat man coverage when you come into the NFL because that’s played everywhere, but the zones are so much more complex than college. Sometimes they have to recognize it on the fly, so it’s just about getting better and better throughout the season.”

Chiefs play the Packers Sunday night

Mahomes and Rice hope to continue building on their recent chemistry when they take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football.

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They have playmakers everywhere, and their defense can play,” Mahomes said about Matt LaFleur’s team. “It will be a great challenge for us, and they’re a hot football team that just beat another great football team so they have confidence coming in. We’ve got to match that confidence and try to find a way to win a football game.”

The Packers head into this game with a 5-6 record, but in high spirits as they come from back-to-back victories, with massive wins over the Chargers and Lions.