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There’s a BYU connection to the Chiefs rookie receiver who had a breakout playoff game

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) runs up field for a first down during an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Miami Dolphins Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.

Rashee Rice had an unforgettable first playoff game for the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, one that harkened back to a performance nearly 15 years ago from a former BYU wide receiver.

Rice, the rookie wide receiver out of SMU, led Kansas City with eight receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 26-7 wild-card win over the Miami Dolphins.

He had 92 of those receiving yards in the first half Saturday, including an 11-yard touchdown catch just under four minutes into the game for the contest’s first score.

Those 92 yards were the most receiving yards by a rookie in the first half of a playoff game since 2009, when former BYU wide receiver Austin Collie had 105 first-half yards for the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game that year against the New York Jets, according to ESPN.

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Collie had five receptions for 105 yards during the first two quarters in the Colts’ 31-17 win over the Jets that season, sending Indianapolis to the Super Bowl, where it lost to the New Orleans Saints.

Collie, who ended up with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in that game, had his first five catches in bunches.

He caught passes of 22 yards (on a third-and-2) and 3 yards (on second-and-goal from the 4) on the Colts’ first drive of the second quarter to set up a field goal.

Collie then caught passes on three straight plays late in the first half.

On a drive that started with 2:11 until halftime, Collie first caught an 18-yard pass to send the game into the two-minute warning.

He followed that with a 46-yard grab that advanced the ball to the New York 16.

Collie capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown reception, his second career postseason score after he had a touchdown the previous week in the divisional round.

Collie’s final two catches of that game — of 7 and 11 yards — also came on touchdown drives for Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17) is chased by New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace (97) during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. | Darron Cummings, Associated Press
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17) is chased by New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace (97) during an NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. | Darron Cummings, Associated Press