The Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) head to Kansas City this Saturday to play against the Chiefs (7-6) in what may be the most important game of the season.
The Chargers are white hot and have the opportunity to take the lead in the AFC West, riding a four-game winning streak with an offense that is seemingly unstoppable. Having won seven of their last nine games, the Chargers look to continue their hot streak against the Kansas City Chiefs, whose defense held the Oakland Raiders scoreless through three quarters last week.
One of the most talked about match-ups going into this game has been Keenan Allen versus Marcus Peters and the Chiefs’ secondary.
There’s no hiding it, Keenan Allen is having a career year. A big reason for Allen’s success in 2017 has been his ability to stay on the field. Over the course of the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons, Allen appeared in a total of just nine games. However, this year has been different, as Allen has played in all 13 games this season. Much of Allen’s success through 14 weeks this season has been on 3rd down.
Here are some of Allen’s 3rd down statistics:
51 targets – 1st in NFL
31 receptions – 1st in NFL
464 yards – 1st in NFL
1st downs gained – 1st in NFL
Allen has proven himself to be one of Philip Rivers’ most reliable targets, and one of the NFL’s most consistent threats at wide receiver. Allen currently ranks 5th in the league in receiving yards with 1,143, and 6th in the league in receptions with 83. Both of those marks are career highs for the wide receiver. Allen has been completely unstoppable since week 11, averaging 136.75 yards, 9.75 receptions, and one touchdown per game. The Chargers have also outscored their opponents 131 to 53 in the last four weeks, and the offense has gained an average of 465.25 offensive yards per game.
Fans from both teams are looking forward to watching Allen line up across from the Chiefs’ Marcus Peters. The two players have a history, most notably is the first regular season game of 2016, when Allen had six catches for 63 yards – many of which came against a Peters that was visibly frustrated until Allen went down with an ACL tear. Peters has a well-known tendency to be easily frustrated, and was even suspended by Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid for throwing a referee’s flag into the stands while playing the New York Jets.
With Allen catching just under 80 percent of his targets over the past four weeks, Peters’ ability to keep his cool will be a very important aspect of Saturday’s game. Allen has shown no signs of slowing down, and Chargers’ fans should expect another big game from him on Saturday.
–Drew Hernandez is a Staff Writer and covers the Los Angeles Chargers for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. Follow him on Twitter @achernandez17