Keenan Allen stands out in an otherwise toothless effort by Chargers vs. Texans

Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen scores on a 12-yard reception.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen scores on a 12-yard reception during the second quarter of Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Houston Texans.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Keenan Allen had a big day for the Chargers on Sunday against Houston.

Good thing, seeing as how he was mostly alone on offense.

Allen was targeted a game-high 17 times and finished with 13 receptions for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the 27-20 loss.

The Chargers’ other three wide receivers who were part of the offensive game plan were targeted 15 times total and caught only six balls among them.


Mike Williams, a player so gifted physically that quarterback Philip Rivers has said he can’t really be guarded, had no receptions after halftime.

The loss of Tyrell Williams in free agency was expected to be a hurdle the Chargers would have to clear this season. So far, they haven’t.

Against the Texans on Sunday and last week against Detroit, the offense largely boiled down to Rivers trying to get the ball anyway possible to Allen. Beyond that, the Chargers’ attack was somewhat toothless.

The loss of tight end Hunter Henry to a knee injury also is starting to show more; his ability to work the seams and operate in the red zone are things the Chargers are lacking.

Among their other weapons, Austin Ekeler had only three first-half carries, and Justin Jackson carried just once in the second half — and lost six yards.

“I’m not calling the plays,” Ekeler said. “The only thing I’ll say is that, whatever is called, we have to make sure we execute, whether it’s run or pass. I don’t have a preference. I’ll block. I’ll pass. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll go run down on special teams. It doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m playing.”