There’s a lot to love about the Los Angeles Chargers offense and on Monday Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier didn’t hold back on the praise when speaking about their matchups for Sunday.
He said that rookie quarterback Justin Herbert was playing at an Offensive Rookie of the Year type level and he was benefitting from the type of receivers that the Chargers have surrounded him with. He even went as far as saying that wide receiver Keenan Allen is one of the best in the NFL.
“He’s one of the best slot receivers in our game,” Frazier said in Monday’s press conference. “He makes plays on the outside but he makes his money on the inside and the performance that he had on Sunday was really magical in a lot of ways.”
On Sunday against the Jets, Allen had 16 catches for 145 yards and one touchdown as the Chargers kept the Jets winless with a 34-28 victory. It was Allen’s best game of the season as his numbers continue to climb with Herbert at the helm.
Since Herbert took over in Week 2, Allen has garnered double-digit targets in seven of Los Angeles’ 10 games and has had double-digit receptions in three of them. He’s also topped 100 yards in four games this season.
Frazier believes that a lot of that production believes to be because Herbert feels comfortable with the eighth-year veteran.
“It seems like their quarterback really targets him and looks for him,” Frazier said. “His numbers have gone up because of that and they have a great rapport between them and we are going to have to find a way to slow them down.”
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An NFL Great
Keenan Allen has spent all eight years of his NFL career with the Chargers, first in San Diego and now in Los Angeles, and in every year but two, he’s been targeted over 100 times.
He tallied a career-high 159 targets in 2017 when he caught 102 passes for 1,393 yards, another career-high, and six touchdowns. He was named to the pro bowl for the first time that season as he averaged 87.1 yards per game with Philip Rivers throwing him the ball.
Allen has also tallied 7,240 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns in his career and has averaged 12 yards per catch. With six games remaining this season, he leads the NFL with 81 catches, has 835 receiving yards, and has already caught six touchdowns. His career-high for touchdowns in a season is eight, which he set his rookie year.
When the Chargers come to town on Sunday, the Bills will have to keep an eye on Allen.
How Do You Slow Him Down?
There has only been one occasion this season where Allen has garnered less than five targets. It came in a Week 5 loss to the New Orleans Saints and Allen played just 17% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps.
He also only caught three passes against the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago in a 29-21 loss. Although they don’t do it much, the Bills could matchup top cornerback Tre’Davious White with Allen in order to slow down the Chargers offense and take away Herbert’s favorite target.
With Josh Norman, Dean Marlowe, and Levi Wallace returning from the Reserve/Covid-19 list, the Bills secondary should be fully healthy come Sunday for the first time this season. So, they’ll have the depth and the energy to cover all of Herbert’s targets, including Allen. But, the three-time pro bowler should be the focus on Sunday.