Keenan Allen Will Finally Reach Full Star Power With Benjamin Addition
By Nick Matt
Before suffering a season-ending injury in 2015, Keenan Allen was on pace for a ridiculous 143 catches. He had the 3rd most receptions all-time thru the first 8 games of a season in NFL history. He had 67 catches and 725 yards receiving with 4 TD’s. Allen was well on his way to putting together one of the greatest single seasons ever for an NFL wide receiver. He has been hampered by injuries in his young NFL career which has prevented him from being a top 5 receiver in the league. Allen possesses all the skills necessary to be in that conversation; runs great routes, great hands, is great in Y.A.C (yards after the catch), and he can go up and beat a double team by plucking the ball out of the air.
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Newly acquired Travis Benjamin brings a whole different dimension the Chargers haven’t had in a long time. He is an absolute burner. He will fit in just fine with Philip Rivers who loves to push the ball down field. Rivers hasn’t had a receiver with that kind of speed yet. Benjamin had a career season in 2015 with sub par quarterbacks and his best games were with Johnny Manziel throwing him the rock. Now he has Pro Bowl quarterback Rivers tossing him the ball, it is safe to say that is an extreme upgrade for Benjamin.
Allen and Benjamin are both very dynamic weapons and both have very contradicting styles of play that will only help each other be successful. This tandem can do big things in a Ken Whisenhunt run offense led by Rivers who does nothing but takes what the defense gives him. If Benjamin is covered down field he’ll check down to Gates, Allen, or Woodhead. If the opponent plays the middle of the field and flats, then Rivers will put the ball on the numbers to Benjamin who can break through any defense based off his speed alone. There is risk in Benjamin because he hasn’t put together a streak of productive seasons yet, so only time will tell. But on the other hand, he has never played with the caliber of quarterback like the fiery Rivers. With the addition of Benjamin and his vertical threat, Keenan Allen will be a top-five wide receiver in this league. He will be able to destroy defenses with his quickness and ability to make the circus catches. He wont have to carry the load in the passing game and he will only benefit from it.