The Chargers are sitting at 2-3 and are third in the AFC West standings. Below them are the Denver Broncos, who until Sunday were winless. That was until they went into Dignity Health Sports Park and beat the Chargers 20-13.
The Bolts didn’t score an offensive touchdown for the first time since 2015. One player who was unhappy with the performance was receiver Keenan Allen, who had four catches for 18 yards.
"I guess it was a tough day for the offense," Allen said. " Turnovers in the red zone a couple times, couldn't get it done. It was turnovers.”
Allen later made a comment on an Instagram fan page for Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. saying, “Now y’all know damn well that boy can’t hold my jockstrap. Stop it.”
Before practice on Thursday, Allen was asked about the post and he didn’t shy away from it.
"Go watch the tape, man," Allen said. "It's not a secret."
Allen was shadowed by Harris Jr. the whole game, with the Broncos throwing occasional double teams at the Pro Bowl wideout.
“Thought I was still open on the majority of my routes,” said Allen.
The Cal product did mention the two red zone turnovers in the game on Sunday. Red zone turnovers have been the Achilles heel of the Chargers. They have turned the ball over five times so far this season inside the 20-yard-line. Allen stated that the self-inflicted wounds were the reason they lost.
Allen has never shied away from speaking his mind after games. Last season after losing 23-22 to the Broncos the receiver said about Denver, “They suck.”
This weekend the Chargers will face the 1-4 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. In last year's matchup, Allen burned the Steelers for 14 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told the media that they won’t make the same mistakes they did last year, like letting linebackers Jon Bostic or L.J. Fort cover Allen.
“It’s kind of expected,” said Allen, “I would be watching me.”
J.R. Smith Could Be Allen’s Good Luck Charm
One familiar face who has been seen in the crowd this season for Chargers games has been former NBA Champion J.R. Smith. Allen has built a relationship with Smith in the last few years. The Pro Bowl receiver said they met online while playing NBA 2k.
“Ballers life!”, said Allen, “That’s my mans. We link up and meet up out here in LA.”
Smith has been to two of the Chargers three home games this season. He attended the week one matchup against the Colts and week three against the Houston Texans. In those games Allen had a combined 21 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
“J.R. you gotta pull up,” joked Allen when asked if Smith was his good luck charm.
Nuts N’ Bolts
•Injury report, Did not practice: FS Nasir Adderley (hamstring), K Michael Badgley (right groin), DE Melvin Ingram III (hamstring), RB Justin Jackson (calf), LB Thomas Davis Sr. (rest). Limited: TE Hunter Henry (knee) WR Andre Patton (quad). Full: P Ty Long (left foot), LB Denzel Perryman (ankle), CB Casey Hayward (back).