MNF Review: Allen's big night
October, 15, 2013
By Steve Muench | ESPN.com
Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesKeenan Allen's size gave the Colts' defensive backfield trouble all night.
San Diego's 2013 third-round pick Keenan Allen caught nine passes for 101 yards and the only touchdown in the Chargers’ 19-9 win over the Colts on Monday night. Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and QB Philip Rivers put their young receiver in position to succeed in different ways.
The most notable was they lined him up in the slot, which created favorable matchups and put him in excellent position to work the middle of the field. Moving him inside, in addition to putting him in motion, made it harder for Indianapolis to re-route and upset his rhythm with Rivers. This is important because Allen, like other bigger receivers, takes too much time to regain his momentum and reach his top-end speed when he gets slowed down releasing off the line.
To his credit, Allen made the most of his chances whether he lined up on the inside or the outside, and his size played a role in two critical plays that started with him aligned on the outside. At 6 feet, 211 pounds, Allen beat 5-foot-11, 204-pound cornerback Vontae Davis on his touchdown catch. Yes, Davis expected help from safety Delano Howell, but a closer look shows that Davis tried to impede Allen by boxing him out. Allen proved too strong and fought through the contact without slowing down much. On a key fourth quarter catch that resulted in a first down, 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback Greg Toler got his hands on Allen, but Allen used his arm length and upper body strength to win the hand fight and create separation.