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What Keenan Allen Has Left to Prove


He's a two-time Pro Bowler who owns several franchise records, including the most single-season receptions in Chargers history (102).

Still only 27-years-old, he's totaled 420 catches for 5,206 receiving and 28 touchdowns. The last two years alone he's caught 199 receptions for 2,589 yards and 12 TDs, which account for the most catches over a two-year span in Chargers history.

In addition, he's authored some of the most dominant stretches of wide receiver play in league annals, such as in 2017 when he became the first player in NFL history to post three straight games with at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Heck, if that wasn't special enough, he's also the only player in NFL history to have 90 catches and an interception in the same season, and only the third to pick off a pass on defense while recording 1,000-receiving yards on offense.

Clearly, Keenan Allen is firmly entrenched as an elite talent…but that wasn't always the case.

KA13 faced a ton of adversity early on, defining his career as having, "many ups and downs" due to his injuries. Allen was limited to just nine total games over a two-year span, including a heartbreaking 2016 season in which he tore his ACL in the first half of Week 1.

All that is clearly in the past.

The fact that few, if any, cornerbacks are willing to speak trash to him on the field proves he has the ultimate respect.

"They haven't since my second year in the league," he said. "Not a lot talk junk to me. I don't get a lot. Not for years. I was kind of expecting it from Richard Sherman my second year, and that (was eye-opening). And it hasn't really happened to me, I haven't gotten much junk talked to me, really maybe ever since then."

Now that he's proven to be a premier NFL receiver, it's fair to ask if Allen even has anything left to prove.

Turns out he does.

"Plenty," he responds with steadfast determination.

Allen lets that single word linger for effect, letting you know just how much he means it.

So, what will it take for KA13 to finally be satisfied by his performance on the field?

The answer is simple, and his stern demeanor turns into a confident smile as he utters a single sentence.

"They still don't think I'm the best receiver," he said. "This is why we work so hard. We work so hard to be the best. And until you are (recognized) as it, it doesn't mean much to me."

At the same time, Allen stressed one thing matters most of all, and it has nothing to do with individual dominance or respect.

"Most of all, we've got to win the division," he stated. "We have to. I haven't done that since I've (been here). That's something we have to accomplish to be one step closer to our main goal – the Super Bowl."

There's no doubt Allen plays a big part in attaining those goals.

The smooth-moving wide receiver is best known for his pristine route-running, which allows him to gain uncanny separation. And as everyone knows, if you give Philip Rivers even the slightest hint of an opening, the quarterback will find a way to get you the ball.

However, Allen's game is more than just those beautiful routes.

While he knows that's what earns him the most praise, he's perhaps most proud of his steady reliability.

"Consistency," he said. "Consistency. Having that knowledge of the game. Knowing what to do and where to be. That's what's needed (to succeed). I'm proud of that. And that is what will help us get another step closer to our goals; to win the division and then (the Super Bowl)."

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