Morning Links: Allen makes all-rookie team

December, 25, 2013
12/25/13
10:00
AM ET
SAN DIEGO – Good morning and Merry Christmas. Mike Tanier writing for Sports on Earth rightly places San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen on his all-rookie team.

Tanier on Allen: "The Chargers became a Philip Rivers-Antonio Gates-LaDanian Tomlinson team in 2005 and essentially quit developing exciting new offensive players for the rest of the decade. Keenan Allen is the team's first breakout star in years: an Anquan Boldin lookalike who combines the acrobatic ability and over-the-middle daring of young Boldin with the steadiness and dedicated blocking of old Boldin. The Chargers' Thursday night win over the Broncos in early December was Allen's coming out party. He's dangerous, he's tough and he will enter 2014 as Rivers' go-to receiver."

ESPN's Dan Graziano drops quarterback Philips Rivers a notch to No. 6 on his MVP Watch.

Graziano: "He leads the league in completion percentage, is fourth in passing yards, third in yards per attempt, fifth in touchdown passes, fourth in passer rating and second behind only the elder Manning in Total QBR. Statistically, Rivers is the best quarterback in the league this year other than Peyton. Somewhere, Norv Turner is ... well, he's not taking calls on this particular topic, is he? Among the preseason "new-coach-revitalizes-formerly-great-quarterback" stories, Rivers and Mike McCoy got far less ink than Chip Kelly/Michael Vick and Marc Trestman/Jay Cutler. But Rivers and McCoy are by far the most successful such pairing, though Kelly has found a soul mate elsewhere on the roster, as you'll see a little further down the list."

In this ESPN Insider piece, Insider according to Danny Tuccitto of Football Outsiders the Chargers have a 13.3 percent chance of advancing to the postseason. The article includes an easy-to-understand chart showing possible scenarios and calculating the win probability of each team fighting for the final AFC Wild Card berth.

Brian Baldinger and Willie McGinnest of the NFL Network believe the Chargers would be the most dangerous team to earn the final AFC Wild Card spot. Watch the video.

Michael Gehlken U-T San Diego writes that Eric Weddle has been a leader on and off the field.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com reports that kicker Nick Novak earned AFC special teams player of the week.

Andrew Brandt writing for Sports Illustrated writes about the impact Jay Z joining that sports agent business could have on recruiting NFL prospects for the 2014 draft, providing an example of his experience with running back Ricky Williams and Master P.

Eric Oehler of the National Football Post provides a list of his all-time football gift. It includes Zubaz and Nerf Turbo footballs.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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