Bengals must focus on Chargers' emerging star in Keenan Allen

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Nov 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Quintin Demps (35) and cornerback Marcus Cooper (31) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

 

He backed up those comments on Sunday, catching nine passes for 124 yards and helping spark the upset of the Chiefs while putting the Chargers right back in the playoff mix at 5-6, which five teams are currently tied at in the AFC for the No. 6 seed. Allen is becoming the favorite target for quarterback Philip Rivers, and that was evident Sunday as he targeted the rookie 12 times, and his nine receptions were twice as many as any other Chargers receiver had vs the Chiefs.

In the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chargers drafted Allen, the former California Golden Bear, a player widely projected as a first or second-round pick before a knee injury late in his junior season. He’s topped 100+ yards in four of his past seven games and is now on pace for over 60 catches and over 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie season.

The Cincinnati Bengals will need to focus on containing him this Sunday when the two teams meet in San Diego with significant playoff implications for both squads. A loss by the Bengals guarantees their division lead will be down to a game with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens playing Thursday night, while a loss by the Chargers would put them at 5-7 and probably needing to win-out to get to nine wins and get that final playoff spot.

 

 

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