The Los Angeles Chargers dominate the Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thanksgiving with big games from Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen.
What a dominant performance from the Chargers. Four days removed from the Nathan Peterman evisceration in a statement win against the Buffalo Bills, the Chargers pick up another huge win against the Cowboys. Along with just being a huge win on a national stage, it also keeps the Chargers’ playoff hopes very much alive. Here are some of the takeaways.
1. Keenan Allen is on a new level
Allen had been fairly quiet this year, until the past two games. Allen had 11 and 12 receptions in his last two games, respectively. For context, Allen has had 67 receptions this season. That means more than a third of them have come in the last two games. In the last two games, Allen has 331 receiving yards. He is now on pace to break both his single-season career reception record (77, 2014) and his single-season receiving yardage record (1046, 2013).
It’s impossible to understate what Allen has done this season, specifically in the last two games. He’s gone way above what’s been expected of him and has been fantastic. He is already a No.1 receiver, but soon could develop into a superstar level receiver in this league (a space occupied by names such as Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham). And luckily for the Chargers, he’s catching fire at exactly the right time for a potential playoff push.
2. Philip Rivers is back (and more efficient)
Rivers has played just OK in all of the games prior to the last two games this season. However, he’s thrown five TD’s and 0 INT’s the last two games. That brings his season total to 20 TD’s and seven INT’s. At this point last year, he had thrown 23 TD’s and 12 INT’s. He’s throwing just a couple fewer TD’s and has nearly halved his interceptions. That’s some great progression for someone in his 14th season. He really picked apart both the Dallas and Buffalo secondaries.
If Rivers has really bucked the trend of turning the ball over too much and is actually more efficient now, which we’ll find out over the last five games of the season, teams better watch out. An efficient Rivers who doesn’t turn the ball over and has some big weapons like Allen, Hunter Henry, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and a Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler combo? That could be incredibly dynamic.