Could Keenan Allen become the best Chargers wideout since the merger?
Now that Keenan Allen is locked up for the next 5 seasons, its time to realize that we could be watching the best Chargers wide receiver since the AFL days of the legendary Lance Alworth.
When he was injured in week 8 of last season, Allen was on pace to have 134 receptions which would have obliterated the teams record of 100 catches by Ladainian Tomlinson, and would have been the fourth most in NFL history. If that isn’t crazy enough, it would have been the second most all-time if Julio Jones and Antonio Brown didn’t both have a ridiculous 136 receptions in 2015.
He also was on pace for 1450 receiving yards, which would have ranked 2nd in franchise history.
Yet in reality we will never know what could have been, but one thing is for sure, anyone that saw him in action last season could see that he is the real deal. With only a shell of a running game, Keenan Allen picked up the slack to the tune of 3 games of 130 plus yards and tied the franchise record for receptions in a single game for a Chargers wideout with 15 in week 1.
When he went down in a very winnable game against Baltimore, he took any hopes of the Chargers season turning around, down with him.
Lance Alworth is in a land of his own in Chargers lore having led the AFL in receiving yards, and in touchdowns 3 times and was a main reason the Bolts won the AFL championship in 1963
Along with leading franchise in yards per catch (23.2), he was was the first American Football League player to be inducted into the NFL hall of fame in 1978, so we won’t question his greatness. Stats via footballdb.com
Every other receiver In the record books will have to be wary, including Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner, because when Keenan Allen is healthy he is able to put up numbers that receivers in his time could only dream of.
Through two and a half seasons Allen has 215 receptions which is the most by any Chargers receivers in their first 3 seasons in the league, and has eleven games topping 100 yards.
Heading into the prime of his career and Philip Rivers locked up, I expect his numbers look much like 2015, and for him to top 100 catches this year and set the franchise record, barring injury.
Those are the numbers, but seeing it is what gets you really excited. On the field Allen is a lightning rod, repeatedly using his fast twitch athleticism to shake any defender in arms length as Richard Sherman found out the hard way.
His slippery moves have been invaluable to Philip Rivers, who knows when the line breaks down he can get it off quickly to his playmaker and let him do the rest.
It is too soon to crown him as a Chargers great, but Keenan Allen is just finding his stride in this league and fans have plenty to be excited about because he is primed to have the best seasons of his career, in a San Diego uniform.
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