The Los Angeles Chargers did it again against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. The team got a lead, took it into the fourth quarter, and lost the game. For Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, this worrisome trend comes down to four words: “It's just straight-up inconsistency.”
“Inconsistency. It's just straight-up inconsistency,” Ekler said, per NFL.com, after the Chargers 36-34 Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. “And it's not just the players, like when you look at the NFL, a lot of the players, yes, there's outliers, but a lot of the players are very similar in talent, there's not a huge gap. You might have a few outliers, and if your team has a few of these decent outlier players, then you have a chance to win games.”
The Chargers have plenty of these outlies. Ekler himself, quarterback Justin Herbert, pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, and safety Derwin James are all among the best of the best in the game right now.
Despite that fact, the Chargers coughed up a 27-0 lead in the playoffs to the Jacksonville Jaguars to end the 2022 season, and the next time they stepped on the field — with a somewhat different cast but still the same “outliers” — they choked again.
However, Austin Ekeler doesn’t just blame the team’s stars. He took aim at all the players, the coaches, and even injuries.
“For us, when we have our guys that are getting hurt that are being consistent for us, right, that plays a part into it,” Eckler added. “And we've had injuries over the past years, and you can't blame everything on injuries. Our coaching hasn't always been the best. Our play hasn't always been the best. And when you have a combination of those, then guess what? You're going to be inconsistent.”
Ekeler and the Chargers will try and become more consistent in Week 2 when the team travels to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans.