Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 11/2/13

Keenan Allen's rookie campaign isn't just impressing teammates -- it's leaving some flabbergasted.

Just ask Antonio Gates.

"I knew he was good, but I've never seen this," Gates said of the Chargers' first-year receiver. "I didn't think it would evolve this fast. He is making plays in the game, and I'm like, 'Wow.' ...

"You don't really expect it. They talk about his speed and this and that. The boy can play football, and he can get open. All that stuff about speed. If you can play and get open, that's what wins games for you. That's what makes plays for you. You can get a dog to run and jump. You know what I mean? That's what this league has underestimated."

A third-round pick out of Cal, Allen has hauled in 26 receptions for 399 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego's sixth-ranked passing offense. He has the requisite size (6-foot-2) and speed (4.3 forty), and it's shown on the field.

Quarterback Philip Rivers likes what he sees from the 21-year-old, who hasn't yet hit his ceiling.

"I say this: It's been impressive what he's done," Rivers said, "but he can be even better."

As long as Allen stays healthy -- he's recently battled an undisclosed injury -- he has a chance to lead all Chargers pass-catchers, Gates included, in the second half of the season.

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