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For the record, Keenan Allen makes 16 catches in Chargers’ win over Jets

 Keenan Allen catches a pass in front of New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson.
Keenan Allen makes one of his Chargers-record 16 receptions, this time in front of New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

With the Chargers owning one of the worst records in the NFL thanks to a series of one-possession defeats, some might have anticipated less effort in the final stretch of their season. Many key contributors are injured, and a spot in the playoffs is unlikely, if not already mathematically impossible.

But the only problem on the mind of Keenan Allen was a three-game losing streak and finding a solution.

Check his numbers:

Against the New York Jets, the wide receiver caught 16 passes — a franchise record — for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Chargers’ 34-28 win at SoFi Stadium. His 19 targets also tied a career high.

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It was Allen’s sixth game with at least 13 catches, surpassing Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown and retired receiver Wes Welker for the most in NFL history. He also tied Brown for least games to record 600 catches, both doing so in 96.

That level of production even surprised him, Allen said.

Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert threw three touchdown passes in a 34-28 victory over the winless Jets, earning him a place in NFL history, but the team’s late-game issues showed up again.

“We just had it going,” Allen said. “Coach kept calling my number, and [quarterback Justin Herbert] kept throwing me the ball.”

The matchups also were in Allen’s favor. The Jets, the NFL’s only winless team, started three rookies in the secondary — cornerbacks Lamar Jackson and Bryce Hall and safety Ashtyn Davis. Allen was able to find soft spots in zone coverage or beat defenders when they were man on man, he said.

He finished the first quarter with six catches for 63 yards and drew a pass-interference call on Hall. By halftime, when his tally reached 10 catches for 108 yards, he realized he was on track for a big day.

“I said, ‘Let’s just keep it going,’ ” he said.

The Chargers' Keenan Allen, left, is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Harvey Langi after a second-half reception.
The Chargers’ Keenan Allen is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Harvey Langi after a second-half reception. Allen caught a franchise-record 16 passes.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

In the third quarter, the theme continued.

On third and goal from the Jets’ 13-yard line, Herbert rolled left from an empty backfield formation and fired a pass to the end zone. Allen was at the top of his route when the ball was in the air against Jackson’s coverage, the cornerback positioned with his back toward the quarterback.

When Allen turned, the pinpoint pass was already chest-bound and the sticky-fingered receiver was able to secure the football before Jackson could react.

Allen then rocked the ball like a baby as a cannon blasted smoke, and receiver Mike Williams walked over to congratulate him. Allen said Herbert threw the pass hard, adding it had a lot of “heat.”

“If me and [Herbert] make eye contact like we did, he can throw me a back shoulder, and that’s what he did,” Allen said. “He threw it on a rope, and it was a dime.”

Allen did commit a costly mistake in the first quarter when he fumbled near the goal line. He and Herbert connected for 14 yards, with Allen moving upfield in attempt to reach the end zone before Jets safety Marcus Maye collided with the airborne receiver and forced the ball out.

Canadian product Tevaughn Campbell intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, and made game-saving pass breakout as the Chargers held off the winless Jets, 34-28.

“Just trying to do too much,” Allen said.

Herbert said his chemistry with Allen is improving every week. The two are “starting to get a good feel of each other” for where to place the ball, Herbert said.

It’s showing.

“He’s as good as it gets,” Herbert said. “To see all the success he’s had over the last few years has been awesome.

“Any time you have a guy like that on the football field, you’re going to try and get him the ball because something special is going to happen.”

Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Chargers’ 34-28 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.


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