It’s sort of comical how a couple of relatively stale NFL games from the Chiefs’ offense causes everyone to hit the panic button on Patrick Mahomes and Co.
Yes, Chiefs games have featured lower scores and closer margins this season. That must be masking the fact that they are gaining 5.7 yards per play and Mahomes ranks in the top eight quarterbacks in both passing yards and completion percentage.
You can point out that Kansas City has been underwhelming on the ground, averaging 103.7 rushing yards, but that’s nothing that Mahomes hasn’t been able to compensate for in the past.
There is the obvious reliance on Travis Kelce, who owns a 22.1 percent slice of Mahomes’ targets.
The supporting pass-catching cast usually features different heroes on any given Sunday, but rookie Rashee Rice has taken the No. 2 target role handedly.
The second-round draft selection out of SMU catches 78 percent of the 4.6 looks he gets from Mahomes per game. Rice’s 26.1 percent target rate places him at No. 20 overall at the wide receiver position.
Philadelphia brings the best scrimmage defense in football to Arrowhead on Monday night, but it simultaneously deploys a lackluster passing secondary. The Eagles tie for third-to-last with 26.7 pass completions against on 40.2 attempts.
They are granting the single-most 17.1 receptions to opposing wide receivers.
Rice has been especially useful to Mahomes in the red zone; he has reeled in seven of 10 targets. The speedy receiver has also scored in two of the past three games.
Betting on the NFL?
- Check out the best NFL betting sites
- Read our expert guide on how to bet on the NFL
- Get the latest Super Bowl 2023 Odds.
- Get the BetMGM Bonus Code
The Eagles will keep the emphasis on shadowing Kelce, so I’m looking for Rice to scoop up plenty of table scraps in Monday’s Super Bowl LVII rematch. The value is too good to pass up.
THE PLAY: Rashee Rice Over 4.5 receptions (+139, Caesars Sportsbook)