The Los Angeles Chargers won 12 games and were one of the best teams in the NFL this past season, and much of that had to do with their lethal passing game, which was led by quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen.
When you think of the best wide outs in the NFL, the first names that come to your mind are probably guys like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and Tyreek Hill.
You typically wouldn’t think of Allen, but it’s probably about time we all start giving him a bit more respect.
The 27-year-old is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns, and now that he is healthy, he absolutely seems to be one of the best receivers in the league.
But just what goals should Allen be setting for himself in 2019?
Here are a few.
3. Stay Healthy
Health has not really been an issue for Allen over the last two years, as he did not miss a game in 2017 or 2018. But it wasn’t always like that for the University of California product.
Between 2015 and 2016, Allen played in just nine games total, as a kidney issue and a torn ACL kept him off the field most of the time.
The good news is that Allen has shown no ill effects from either problem over the last two years, racking up 1,393 and 1,196 yards, respectively, over the last two seasons.
So, it seems safe to say that Allen, who had never played a full 16-game season before 2017 (he was drafted in 2013), has kicked the injury issues and is ready to play with a clean bill of health once again in 2019.
Let’s just hope it stays that way.
2. Catch 90 Balls
This shouldn’t be too difficult for Allen, seeing as how he hauled in 97 receptions in 2018 and caught 102 passes two years ago for the Chargers.
But, with Mike Williams entering his third season after a breakout 2018 campaign and tight end Hunter Henry now healthy, Rivers might spread the ball around a bit more in 2019.
Both Williams and Henry should take quite a bit of pressure off of Allen this coming season to the point where he might not even have to catch 90 balls, but he is so talented that he’ll probably just end up doing it anyway.
There is no question that Allen is still Rivers’ No. 1 receiver, so he will likely see the bulk of the targets. Taking that into consideration, 90 catches is a very attainable goal even with the rest of the talent in Los Angeles’ aerial attack.
1. Reach the End Zone 10 Times
One thing that Allen is yet to do in his career is score 10 touchdowns, and while Williams is the Bolts’ top end zone target with his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, Allen is not exactly small himself at 6-foot-2, 211 pounds.
Now, to be fair, not all of the best wide receivers in the NFL record double-digit touchdowns with regularity. After all, Julio Jones has only done it once, and a legitimate argument can be made that he is the best wide out in football.
But it would nice to see Allen accomplish this goal for the first time, and he certainly has the talent and the size to make it happen.
With the Chargers entering 2019 as a healthier ballclub, there should be more opportunities for touchdowns, and Allen should be ready to take full advantage.