Keenan Allen, Adam Jones Offer Juicy Matchup

Get ready for more Adam Jones on Sunday in the Bengals' home opener against the Chargers. The feisty cornerback has his hands a little bit more full this week with big San Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen across the line of scrimmage.

When the Bengals host the Chargers Sunday at 1 p.m. at Paul Brown Stadium, a one-on-one matchup to watch is Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen vs. Bengals cornerback Adam Jones.

Both had headline efforts Week 1.

Allen made news with 15 receptions for 166 yards in a win against Detroit. He was targeted 17 times. He ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards and tied for second in receptions. Denver's Demaryius Thomas leads with 176 yards receiving. Broncos teammate Emmanuel Sanders leads with 16 receptions.

Allen, still only 23, has been more of a chain-mover than a big-play threat, averaging 11.1 yards per catch, with a long grab of 21 with no touchdowns. He has three catches going for at least 20 yards, two for exactly 20. A whopping eight catches went for first downs against the Lions.

Allen, not always high on quarterback Philip Rivers’ progression in previous seasons, looks like the clear top target with tight end Antonio Gates out due to suspension, so Allen's target rate should remain high. He seems to have Rivers' early-season confidence.

Jones made news last week for his pro wrestling move on Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper in the Bengals' season-opening win at Oakland. He had a team-high 10 tackles with a pass defensed.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said that Jones had his best game as a Bengal in Oakland while shutting down Cooper, who is three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Jones, who is 5 feet 10 and 180 pounds. Allen is 6-2, 211, a bigger man than Cooper, with more experience.

Allen, in his third NFL season, has 163 career receptions for 1,995 yards, for a 12.2-yards-per-catch average, with 12 touchdowns. His best season was his rookie year when he hauled in 71 passes for 1,046 yards (14.7 average) and eight TDs. He fell off to 783 yards last year despite more catches, 77. His average was down to a career-low 10.2, and he scored just four touchdowns.

Allen could surpass 2,000 career receiving yards on his first catch Sunday. Jones will be doing all he can to prevent that.


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