Keenan Allen finishes first 16-game season by setting Chargers record
By Jack Wang
CARSON — Melvin Gordon fumbled for the first time all season. Somehow, the Chargers still scored.
Early in the second quarter at StubHub Center, the ball popped out of the running back’s grasp, setting up a potential turnover in Oakland territory. But instead of reaching any of the four defenders surrounding Gordon, it found its way into Keenan Allen’s hands.
The Chargers receiver held on, running all the way to the end zone for the game’s first points.
“It was right place at the right time,” said quarterback Philip Rivers, “but there’s something about players that just have a knack — they end up being in the right place at the right time, and have good awareness. That was one of those plays.”
An unconventional end to a 99-yard drive.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 31, 2017
That play didn’t count toward Allen’s 133 receiving yards in Sunday’s 30-10 win, credited instead as a 27-yard fumble recovery touchdown — another statistical oddity in a season that also included his first career interception. He finished the year with 1,393 receiving yards, second-most in franchise history behind Lance Alworth, who caught for 1,602 in 1965.
Allen’s nine receptions on New Year’s Eve also bumped his yearly total to 102, two more than the old Chargers single-season record set by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003.
But asked what he was most proud of at the end of his fifth professional campaign, Allen picked something else.
“Making it through all 16 games,” he said.
The Chargers missed out on the playoffs despite their 9-7 record, but one of the bright lights of their first post-relocation season was Allen. A third-round pick in 2013, the 6-foot-2 receiver has long flashed star potential, catching for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie out of […]