West Ham's recent run in the Premier League has seen them fly up the table and there is now a genuine belief that they could challenge for a top-six spot by the end of the campaign.
That feeling grew even more when they put Manchester United to the sword on Sunday with the best display of the season for Manuel Pellegrini's side in which Rice was again a stand-out performer.
The Hammers spent most of the summer fighting off bids for the midfielder from clubs in the Premier League, with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United both said to be keen on taking him away from the London Stadium.
Thankfully for West Ham fans all those efforts to snatch him away were resisted and they are now reaping the rewards.
Former player Nolan has credited Rice as being one of the reasons why West Ham are where they are and he also thinks there is still room for improvement for the England international.
"He is another major reason why West Ham have started so well and is another major reason why I feel West Ham have a great chance of breaking into the top six," he said.
The Hammers cannot wait to continue their Premier League campaign but firstly they have to play Oxford United in the Carabao Cup.
Rice is almost certain to be left out of the side as a precaution against injury.
West Ham have already lost the services of Michail Antonio due to an injury picked up in the same competition, so will not want to risk any more problems.
Arthur Masuaku may play after being suspended and replaced by Aaron Cresswell for the win over United.