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Chargers: Top 10 best players in the 2019 season

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 27: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Derek Watt #34 after scoring a touchdown during the second half of a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 27: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Derek Watt #34 after scoring a touchdown during the second half of a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 27: Casey Hayward Jr. #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs with the ball after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 27: Casey Hayward Jr. #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs with the ball after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Top Ten Chargers of 2019: Casey Hayward and Keenan Allen

4. Casey Hayward

Casey Hayward kept the heat up on opposing receivers in 2019. While not his best season in Los Angeles, it still was at an elite level. It’s maybe the most underappreciated season by a Charger in some regards. Hayward had an 84.2 PFF grade while quarterbacks throwing on him this season have registered a 59.2 passer rating.

Hayward had the sixth most snaps amongst cornerbacks and had 17.6 percent target rate overall. How accurate were the targets thrown his way? Hayward ranked 107th amongst corners in target accuracy when quarterbacks threw his way.

He was without a doubt the best of the Chargers’ secondary, and it was particularly impressive because of how much of a revolving door the corner spot opposite Hayward ended up being, from Trevor Williams in the preseason, to Michael Davis, and in some instances, Brandon Facyson. It’s hard to call Hayward a Pro Bowl snub with how many good cornerbacks there were in the AFC, but he had a terrific defensive year.

2020 New Year’s Resolution: Get some consistency at the corner spot opposite Hayward so he can be even more dangerous. A change may be needed here, as there’s plenty of good cornerbacks in the draft, and even free agency.

3. Keenan Allen

Allen put together yet another Pro Bowl campaign for the third year in a row. Something to also celebrate-it’s the third year in a row he was able to play all 16 games. From a kidney laceration to a torn ACL, the beginning of Allen’s career was tumultuous at times, but he’s really put it all together and is easily a top-five possession receiver in the league.

There’s certainly an argument to be made about him being one of the top five overall receivers.

Him and Williams together are the first Chargers’ wide receiver duo since 2009 to each have 1,000 yards. He broke the single-season receptions record for the entire Chargers franchise, and he was the one who held the record last.

Three straight years of 1,000 yards and six touchdowns is jaw-dropping, and if the Chargers were more popular as a franchise, he’d be one of the more talked about elite receivers. My favorite Allen play of 2019:

https://twitter.com/PFF/status/1170804251825725440

2020 New Year’s Resolution: Stay healthy and score six touchdowns again next year, or even more. Hopefully, a third wide receiver can step up to unleash Williams and Allen further.

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