Chargers receiver Keenan Allen is doing what he must for recognition.
Keenan Allen said it himself. He was tired of biting his own tongue.
The L.A. Chargers wide receiver might have spelled the sentiment wrong, but his point remains clear. Despite being listed at No. 77 overall in the NFL’s Top 100 players for 2020, Allen clearly feels underappreciated as a player these days. In response, he decided to state his case, a move that included calling out some colleagues.
After this, Allen decided to stake out his territory and declared he’s the best receiver… in the AFC West.
Quick note: if you’re going to say you’re the best at something, it helps your cause to at least claim some territory larger than, say, a four-team division—even one with the defending Super Bowl champions. It just doesn’t sound all that impressive.
Back to our subject. This isn’t about whether or not Allen really is better than Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, or Chris Godwin—again, such a weird territory to claim—or even if he’s the best in the West. We’re here to simply point out that Allen is just doing what he must in today’s NFL to earn the spotlight.
First, let’s be clear: even as a Chiefs fan writing on a Chiefs site, Allen has a good point in that he’s under-recognized on a wider scale. Allen’s trajectory of production could veer toward Canton someday if he’s able to stay healthy (which is always the biggest concern when discussing Allen’s career). But seriously he’s stayed healthier than you think and his stats are top notch.
Over the last three seasons, Allen’s average year is 101 catches for 1,263 yards and 6 touchdowns. Given that he averaged 71 catches, 851 yards and 5 touchdowns through his first three seasons, he’s put together a very impressive body of work that will at the very least immortalize him in Chargers history.
But that’s not enough for some players and Allen is taking exception to his lack of league-wide notoriety by forcing himself into the conversation. It’s not unlike what Pepsi did to raise its status with the Pepsi Challenge decades ago to bring itself into better competition with Coca-Cola. The idea is to call out the best in a particular category as an attempt to raise one’s own profile.
By calling out Tyreek Hill or others, Keenan Allen has placed himself squarely in the conversation—even if much of that conversation is negative about him. At this point, it’s no different than a political talking head who says something ridiculous and/or extreme. That person likely doesn’t even believe or act that way off camera, but that person’s ability to build a successful brand—to draw eyes/ears to his/her show—they must resort to stating the outlandish.
No one should ever say that Keenan Allen believing he’s the best is outlandish. His stats are better than most people likely realize, and he is an incredible playmaker with very few peers. In addition, it doesn’t help that he’s played in disinterested markets on a team that’s struggled to make any real noise. In addition, missing a season in the midst of his prime really hurt his case to build a body of consistent work for a while.
It’s silly to get mad at Allen for trying to his best to call attention to his own cause. It’s what many players do, and Allen could use a boost given the disproportional nature of his production with his coverage. No, he’s not the best receiver in the West which renders both tweets inaccurate, but unless the Chargers can figure out ways to beat the Chiefs in 2020, Allen is likely right to force his way into any ongoing conversations about the best receiver in football.