In 2013, Keenan Allen balled out as a rookie. He set a Charger rookie receiving yardage record and he continued to get better each and every game as the season progressed. He was voted as the “Offensive rookie of the year” by the Pro Football Writers of America; an organization that I have been a part of for the last 8 months. You know I voted for him.
Allen was suffering from a groin injury that slowed him down. His ability to cut in and out of his breaks was affected. Prior to the week 4 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Keenan had yet to have a statistically strong performance. That was set to change this past Sunday.
Through the first 3 weeks of this season, Allen’s numbers looked like this: 12 receptions for 109 yards. After a 10 catch 135 yard performance, Keenan is turning up the heat and proving that he’s the number one target for quarterback Philip Rivers. This was evidenced by his work against the Jags.
His 10 receptions set a career-high for the second-year wideout from Cal. San Diego was in desperate need for a number one receiver and they found just that in Allen. Even though this is just his sophomore season in the league, he is already one of the best route runners out there. He worked on adding size and speed during the offseason and his hard work is going to continue to pay off.
Keenan has a permanent chip on his shoulder after falling to the third round of the 2013 NFL draft. Once fully healed, you’ll see his explosiveness return to his game. Allen’s ability to create separation and high-point the ball make him an option on every passing play. The further removed he becomes from his groin ailment, the more you’ll see Keenan make his mark as one of the better wide receivers in the National Football League.
His next challenge will be against the New York Jet defense and a banged up secondary. The Jet defensive line is one of the best in football, but look for Allen to be targeted early and often on quick timing routes that will set him up to gain yards after the catch. He may not finish the game with 10 catches, but he will rack up yards and most likely surpass 100 on the day.
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