Bengals: Five keys to victory over the Chargers in week one
Neutralize star receiver, Keenan Allen
On the Chargers’ offense, there is one player who stands out among the rest: wide receiver Keenan Allen.
Allen was recently signed to a lucrative new contract for four years and $80M and he earned every cent of it. The veteran is one of three receivers with more than 300 catches and 3,700 yards over the past three seasons. Over that span, he has had 199 catches for a first down which is the fifth highest in the league.
It’s clear going into the Bengals’ game Sunday that they will need to hone in on Allen. With Mike Williams a game-time decision and unlikely to play, Allen will be in for a big workload. If the Bengals can find a way to neutralize Allen, the Chargers may struggle to get things going in the passing game.
With Allen shut down and Williams out with injury, the success of the passing game will fall on Tyrod Taylor to win without relying on his star receiving duo. Can he do it? While Taylor is a well-respected quarterback, no one expects him to put an offense on his back.
Without many options in the passing game, the Chargers will have to rely on their running backs and Hunter Henry. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the Bengals have revamped their running defense and added some talented linebackers in coverage, so that may not be a winning fight.
The Bengals can give the Chargers a tough time moving the ball if they focus their gameplan on Allen. In what may be a low scoring affair, this could be the key to the win.