Wide receiver Keenan Allen came off another impressive game against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday at Stub Hub Center. Allen finished with 10 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in the victory, along with the Chargers controlling their own destiny, Allen is carving out his own path not just in Los Angeles but across the NFL with his performance. Allen is the only player with 10 plus catches, 100 plus receiving yards and a touchdown in three consecutive games.
After overcoming a series of injuries starting in 2013 with a A/C joint sprain, 2015 he required surgery to repair a lacerated kidney, and in 2016 he required surgery to repair a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee. Allen had a focus and determination that would inspire anyone to get back on the football field. He credits positive people around him and the strength and believe his teammates provided him throughout those processes.
He currently ranks fifth in the NFL with 1,033 yards on 77 receptions entering this Sunday's contest against Washington. In the last three games, Allen caught 33 passes for for 436 yards against the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and Browns. With the Bolts (6-6), Allen's play in crucial situations have made the difference offensively. The foundation of Allen's success lately has been out of the slot more on plays, where he draws man-to-man coverage. He's not the fastest nor possesses great size, however his ability and agility to catch the ball in tight spaces, throwing to him on quick slant routes makes him that top receiver for Los Angeles.
Quarterback Philip Rivers praised the 6-foot-2, 211 pound receiver along with his willingness to stay the course this season.
"You don't just have three good games and get to 1,000 yards," Rivers said. "He did something to get to this point and get to where he is third or fourth in the league in catches. It didn't just happen the last three weeks, but it certainly has been an awesome three weeks. He is just a guy, again, that is so easy to feel as a quarterback when I am back there getting ready to throw it. He is just an easy guy. His body language is very inviting as far as when he is coming in on his cuts. I can just see it easily and well. Some of that is reps and some of that is just what makes him really good. The guy's ability to beat man coverage and to understand what the defense is doing is up there with the best of them."
Last season Allen paid strict attention to wide receivers such as Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Larry Fitzgerald on how to improve his game especially with yards after the catch. Allen also reiterated last week that this was the healthiest he's felt in a while and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Allen is playing on a Pro-Bowl level, and if that continues not only will he help ensure his team a playoff spot (as they rack up wins), but would be in line to win the league's Comeback Player of the Year Award.