ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Keenan Allen looked a little overweight to new Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for all but one game in 2016.
The fifth-year receiver didn't look heavy to the five Dallas defenders he evaded on a nifty catch-and-run touchdown that helped the Chargers boost their playoff hopes in a 28-6 victory over the Cowboys on Thursday.
Now Allen can start looking at a career best in yards receiving for a season after getting his most in a game -- 172 including that 42-yard score. He also had 11 catches a week after getting 12 grabs for 159 yards and two touchdowns in a 54-24 victory over Buffalo.
Allen, who had career highs of 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2013, is at 927 yards with four scores after getting two of the three highest yardage totals of his career in consecutive weeks. He's likely to be in the top five in the NFL by the end of Week 12.
"I felt Keenan's been good all along," Lynn said after Allen's fourth 100-yard game of the season. "He's got his weight down, he's catching balls, run after catch is good. The more reps you get, sometimes the better you get. I've been impressed with Keenan coming out of the gate."
On the third-quarter touchdown, Allen caught a pass along the sideline, escaped cornerback Orlando Scandrick's arms and made safety Jeff Heath miss. After slipping between safeties Xavier Woods and Byron Jones, Allen cut inside cornerback Anthony Brown to put the Chargers up 22-6.
"I used to be a running back," said Allen, who has back-to-back 100-yard games for the fourth time in his career. "I had to get up the field really fast. After that, it was a matter of making those guys miss."
Philip Rivers had his ninth career 400-yard game , throwing for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving appearance in his 14th season. The six-time Pro Bowler has the Chargers rolling with two home games coming, starting with winless Cleveland on Dec. 3.
The Chargers (5-6) are a half-game out of the wild-card picture and 1 1/2 games behind AFC West-leading Kansas City. Los Angeles started 0-4 while the Chiefs won their first five.
"I think it's fitting today to be thankful we're still right there," Rivers said. "Each game is going to be bigger and bigger. It will be a fun December if we do what we're supposed to do the next few weeks."
Things to consider after Rivers' second straight 400-yard game against the Cowboys, the previous one coming four years ago in a 30-21 win in San Diego:
KICK IN THE PANTS: For the second straight game, the Dallas opponent comes off an easy win mostly without its kicker and wondering what will happen at that position.
Philadelphia lost Jake Elliott to a head injury and went without a kicker for the rest of a 37-9 victory, going on fourth downs and 2-point conversions. LA's Nick Novak came back to make a 22-yard field goal after leaving with a back injury, but left for good after missing an extra point . He had an earlier 35-yard miss. Lynn decided against going for 2, and punter Drew Kaser made one of three PAT attempts.
Novak was listed on the injury report, but was a full practice participant all week.
"He kicked half the reps that he normally kicks and he was fine," Lynn said. "I know we need a healthy kicker and if he can get back to healthy, we'd love to have him. But if not, we'll see."
GLOOM AND DOOM IN BIG D: The Cowboys (5-6) face three more games without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, suspended six games over alleged domestic violence.
They have two touchdowns in three games without him, and have been outscored 72-6 in the second half, when Dallas has often taken control thanks to the bruising style of last year's NFL rushing leader. Oh, and the Cowboys won three straight with Elliott before the suspension.
"I do believe we have enough playmakers," tight end Jason Witten said. "We have to look at ourselves and we have to strain and climb out of this together. Certainly it's easy to say `execute better' but it's more than that."
PICK PLAYS: If the Chargers stay in contention, interceptions figure to be part of the formula. Desmond King's 90-yard return was the second pick-six in as many games after LA picked off the Bills five times in the first half. Casey Hayward has three interceptions the past two games and 20 since entering the league in 2012, which ranks fourth.