The LA Chargers lost an ugly game to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 13 that severely hurt the team's playoff chances. In the spotlight for the Chargers during this loss was star wide receiver Keenan Allen, who made some comments about the Raiders' secondary before the game that he probably regrets.
Allen's final stat line seems good enough, finishing with six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, but those who watched the game saw a different story. Allen struggled to get open against man-to-man coverage, especially in key spots, which really hurt a Chargers offense that needed a big game out of him.
It is safe to say that it is not Allen's best work and there might be some concern about who he is as a receiver. After all, he is 30 years old and is coming off of a nagging hamstring injury. Receivers often regress quickly in the NFL and we have seen it time and time again.
However, the discourse that Allen is washed has become irresponsible. One game of a sample size is not nearly enough to make such a bold claim about a receiver who will go down as one of the best, if not the best, in franchise history.
It is far too soon to say that Chargers' Keenan Allen is washed.
There is a lot of context to dive into with Keenan Allen's performance on Sunday. People must not forget that this is only his third game back from a hamstring injury that lingered longer than anyone would have liked or expected it to. Allen is also playing in an offensive scheme that is predictable and easy to gameplan against. Any receiver would struggle running predictable routes that the cornerbacks can key in on.
This is not a full excuse for Allen because the fact of the matter is that he was bad against the Raiders and did not look like the same guy. But to call him cooked after just one bad game in a year that has been tumultuous for him? That is a bit extreme.
That does not mean that Allen isn't already down the path of regression. This very well could be the start of a slow decline for Allen in his career. It happens to everyone. But to make such a bold claim with such a small sample size? People are only setting themselves up to look foolish.
We have already seen this play out with a different offensive Charger this season. Austin Ekeler received a lot of criticism for his play early on in the year that was quickly backtracked once he kicked into gear for the Bolts this season. Are we really going to make the same mistake with Allen?
Keenan Allen is not going to be great forever and there it is much more likely than not that he already peaked in this league. But to discredit him and already write him off from being a great receiver because of one bad showing? That is an irresponsible Chargers take.