The Chargers have one of the NFL’s most notorious gunslingers in Phillip Rivers. Last season, the 34-year-old QB threw for 4,792 yards, good for second in the league. This season, Rivers might surpass that mark, as he will once again be with the services of wide receiver Keenan Allen.
A third round draft pick, Allen was a star from the start of his career, and wasted little time in showcasing his playmaking ability. During his first two seasons he recorded a total of 148 receptions. Those numbers outmatch the totals of Julio Jones, who recorded 133 receptions during his first two seasons.
Going into his third NFL season, Allen was locked in at a guaranteed 70+ receptions. The hope was to exceed that total, but a kidney injury forced Allen to miss the second half of the Chargers season. However, that didn’t stop him from recording some eye-popping first half statistics.
Allen accumulated the third most receptions through eight games in NFL history, recording 67 during his brief 2015 season. In addition, he totaled 725 receiving yards. If you extrapolate those numbers throughout the entire season, Allen would have finished first in receptions and third in receiving yards amongst all NFL wide receivers.
It’s impressive considering it was only his third NFL season. Compare the stats put up by fellow third-year receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, who accounted for 111 receptions and 1521 yards. Both of Hopkins totals fall short of Allen’s potential numbers given a fully healthy campaign.
Chargers head coach, Ken Wisenhunt believes this is a make or break year for Allen, as he will be the focal point of the offense. He’s banking heavily on Allen replicating his numbers from his eight games in 2015.
Circumstances for Allen were quite unfortunate last season. He was on pace to have a career year. It’s going to be quite different for the 2016 campaign, as Allen is fully healthy headed into training camp. His return is going to make the Chargers a lot better on the offensive side of the ball. That’s certainly good news for Phillip Rivers.
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