Everyone in Southern California is focused on the fact that the Los Angeles Chargers suffered an epic meltdown in the Wild Card playoff round on Saturday when they blew a 27-0 lead and lost in the final seconds to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There is a familiar feeling of disappointment and even despair among Chargers fans, as it was simply the latest in a long string of heartbreaking postseason losses going back many years.
But lost in the setback was the fact that running back Austin Ekeler capped an amazing two-year stretch.
He scored two touchdowns versus Jacksonville, giving him 20 total touchdowns from scrimmage (including the playoffs) this season, to go along with 20 more last season.
That means Ekeler has scored 40 touchdowns over the last two years, which puts him in a very exclusive club.
Austin Ekeler now has 40 TDs in the last two seasons.
The man lives in the endzone pic.twitter.com/CzIShhqUww
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 15, 2023
In Chargers history, only one man has reached this level of prolific volcano-like output: LaDainian Tomlinson.
Tomlinson had 20 total touchdowns during the 2005 season, then he became a supernova in 2006 by scoring 31 total touchdowns while adding two more in the playoffs that season.
By no means is Ekeler on the same overall level as Tomlinson, who ran for at least 1,100 yards in each of his first eight seasons and is one of a handful of players with at least 13,000 career rushing yards.
Ekeler has yet to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season, and he lacks the type of explosiveness Tomlinson had.
But what Ekeler does have is versatility as a dual-threat back, which has made him one of the more dangerous and unique weapons in the NFL.
If L.A. is to ever seriously contend for a Super Bowl championship, Ekeler will have to be a major reason why.