WR Keenan Allen flashes vs. Cowboys

SAN DIEGO -- In just his second career start, San Diego Chargers rookie receiver Keenan Allen made the most of his opportunities against the Dallas Cowboys.

Allen finished with five receptions for 80 yards on Sunday. But even more important, Allen earned the trust of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers.

San Diego’s signal caller pointed to an acrobatic, 31-yard reception Allen made on third-and-8 from San Diego’s 37-yard line that provided enough evidence for Rivers that the receiver out of Cal was the real deal.

“I certainly have trust for him, but you have more trust when you make plays on Sundays during games,” Rivers said. “And he was awesome today (Sunday). When he went up and caught that ball on the go route there on third-and-8 ... that does a lot for me.

“It’s kind of like, ‘All right, I'll throw that again now.’ If that doesn’t go for a completion, you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to work it front side.’ But him going and getting that ball and making some of the other plays he did in the game was huge.”

A third-round selection in this year’s draft by San Diego, Allen had been projected as a first- or second-round prospect, but fell down the draft board because of a knee injury suffered during the final portion of his junior year at Cal.

The Chargers eased him into the offense. But with big receiver Malcom Floyd out the past two games with a neck issue, San Diego looked to get the 6-2, 211-pound Allen more involved the past two games.

“I just treat it like practice, even though it’s not practice,” Allen said with a laugh. “But I definitely treat it like practice, try to make everything smooth, and try to keep your confidence up.”

Allen now has eight receptions for 110 yards this season, and is averaging 13.8 yards per reception. San Diego coach Mike McCoy expects Allen to get more chances to make plays like he did on Sunday down the road.

“He’s a young player who’s getting better every week,” McCoy said. “The more reps he gets, the better he’s going to be. It’s a learning curve for him. It’s different. We throw a lot of things at him. And when you play a game like we played today (Sunday) -- up-tempo, no-huddle, doing a lot of things -- you don’t have a lot of time to think. He made the most of every opportunity.”