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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Tue., Nov. 24, 2015 10:00 AM PST
Keenan Allen Does it Again
If there's a rookie receiver playing any better football, his quarterback would like to hear his name.
"What can I say?" said a grinning Philip Rivers after Thursday's 27-20 victory. "The kid knows how to score."
In a game the Bolts knew they couldn't settle for field goals, his two catches became two pivotal touchdowns.
The kid scored in style, too. On third down from the Broncos' 19-yard line, Allen cut on a dime to lose his cover, then separated over the middle from a linebacker. Rivers found him as he worked across the field, and that's when he channeled his inner Olympian.
He jumped over fellow rookie Kayvon Webster like it was a hurdle at a track meet. And when he landed, Allen slammed into safety Mike Adams for the final three yards of his 19-yard score.
"There's a lot of guys that catch that two yard shallow route and say 'that's it,'" Rivers said. "He's not like that. He went down and fought for that score."
Allen's next catch had the same impressive result. He burst away from bunch formation and drove Webster downfield. A safety unwisely bit on Vincent Brown's shallow cross, giving Allen the entire back of the end zone to work with for his second score.
He'll soon own all the big rookie receiving records in club history. Allen passed LaDanian Tomlinson last week in catches by a Bolts rookie, and with that 10-yard touchdown, he moved within striking distance of John Jefferson's receiving yards record.
McCoy knows Allen will work hard to get there -- and keep working after he does.
"He's getting better every week," McCoy said after the game. "He's never satisfied. He responds to hard coaching. That's what he wants. He'll file this game away just like he does every other week and look to improve from there."
It was a memorable night for Allen. So he detached from Webster on the ground and marched to greet the Broncos' crowd. Then, Allen spun around, and with both arms outstretched, pointed to the nameplate on the back of his white jersey.
He's the top rookie receiver, and everyone should know his name by now. And as his head coach insists, he only has room to grow.
"Most receivers just have a knack for the game," said Rivers. "It's never too big for him out there. He just knows how to play."