LA Chargers Wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen had a rough go of it last season. Allen was plagued with a hamstring injury, keeping him out for multiple games. Meanwhile, Williams battled through ankle and back injuries, each holding him out for many weeks, and the back injury, in particular, stopped him from playing in the wild-card game.
Allen is going into his 11th year while Williams is entering his seventh. As both have been playing a few years and have had their fair share of injuries, who looks like they’ll have the most yards per game this season?
Vote Below! Which Chargers Receiver Will Have The Better Yards Per Game?
All About Allen
Half of Allen’s seasons have produced above 1,000 receiving yards. He set a career-high of 1,393 in 2017, and he’s had four or more receiving touchdowns in all but one season.
He’s been one of the favorite targets for Chargers quarterbacks and has only had one year, 2016, when he was targeted in the single digits, and that was because he tore his ACL and had to miss the season.
Because he’s a favorite target, I’m tempted to say he’ll have the most yards per game. Allen’s route-running ability is unmatched, and he’s a quarterback whisperer in that he can always tell where the ball is going before it arrives. He tends to make a lot of contested catches and 2020 marked the most for him at 18.
The only things that could slow Allen down are injuries or new wide receivers like Quentin Johnston taking his thunder. As long as he’s healthy, his season outlook is solid.
The Good and Bad of Williams
Williams is beastly. He’s got the height and strength, and when he goes off, he goes all the way off. Allen may have a lot of contested catches over the years (73) but Williams has been playing less time and has more (86). Where Allen can slip into the smallest of spaces to catch a ball in traffic, Williams has that jump-catch ability and when he comes down, the ball is usually in his hands.
The thing about Williams though is that sometimes he is everywhere in one game and nowhere in the next. Using his career-high receiving yards season of 2021 as an example, he had single-digit targets for 12 of those games. Allen meanwhile had single-digit targets for eight games of that season. Williams is such a big play guy that opposing teams gravitate toward him, often taking him out of the equation with heavy coverage. Williams either has a really good or very quiet game, so it’s harder to count on him throughout the season.
Let’s See What They Can Do
This season will be interesting. Williams has a lot to prove after being out so much last year and with new receivers on his tail and old standbys like Josh Palmer on the Chargers depth chart, it will be a fight to reclaim that number two wide receiver spot. As for Allen, it’s expected that we’ll see some consistent play from him. Either way, seeing such good athletes performing again at the top of their game will be great.