LAS VEGAS — Rashee Rice’s rookie season began with vomiting and ended with him partying.
Rice made two big catches on the overtime touchdown drive Sunday that allowed the Chiefs to finish off a comeback from a 10-point deficit and beat the 49ers, 25-22, in Super Bowl 2024 at Allegiant Stadium.
His six catches for 39 yards, and two carries for 5 yards, tied a bow on a season in which he emerged as Patrick Mahomes’ No. 2 option behind Travis Kelce.
“The first day of training camp I threw up — and now I see why,” Rice said. “We just have to continue to run until we can’t any more — into that deep water. It’s like a heavyweight match out there, and it’s the last guy standing.”
When the 49ers needed one stop to become champions, Rice was there to make sure it didn’t happen.
His 6-yard catch on a second-and-7 was the biggest play that led to the first time moving the chains on the final drive and his 13-yard catch to convert a third-and-6 moved the ball across midfield.
“A rookie wide receiver comes in and just balls,” safety Justin Reid said. “I saw him in training camp and I always tried to encourage him, ‘Keep being a dog, man.’ We saw that this year. He surpassed even my expectations for him.”
In a year when the Chiefs’ receivers were plagued by drops, Rice came up big throughout the playoffs.
Stay up to date with the Post’s coverage of Super Bowl 2024
And when he needed help — the ball popped out of his arms for a fumble in the first half but teammate Justin Watson caught it — he got it.
It would’ve taken more than one loose ball for Mahomes to lose the trust that he has built up in Rice.
“That’s probably the greatest feeling you can have in football,” Rice said. “My job is to catch every pass that Pat throws me. If he feels confident in me, we’ll feel confident in each other and be able to execute any play that we need to do.”
As the confetti rained down, Rice buried his head in head coach Andy Reid’s shoulder during a big embrace.
“Just to be on the inside … last year I was just watching the Super Bowl — not knowing how much it really took to get to this point,” Rice said. “Last time I won anything like this was pee-wee football. I was 11 years old, and we won the ‘Super Bowl.’ ”
Now he has tasted the real thing.