NFL schedule-makers decided to give fans a dream Week 2 Thursday Night Football matchup, as the LA Chargers will lock horns with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams picked up victories in Week 1 and looked every bit the part of the contender title analysts tagged them with before the season.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, Patrick Mahomes is clearly out to prove something after some folks in the industry claimed the Chiefs' offense would take a step back without deep threat Tyreek Hill.
In Kanas City's demolition of the Cardinals on Sunday, Mahomes racked up 360 passing yards and five touchdowns, including three before halftime.
In other words, the Chargers' offense better come to play Thursday night. That could be easier said than done with Keenan Allen unlikely to feature due to a hamstring injury suffered against the Raiders and Mike Williams and Josh Palmer, the No. 2 and 3 receivers, combining to catch five passes for 15 yards in the game.
How concerned should Chargers fans be about the offense? Just ask Austin Ekeler, who oozed anything but optimism on the latest episode of his YouTube show, "Ekeler's Edge."
Austin Ekeler's comments about the Chargers' offense are concerning.
If you fast forward to the 24-minute part of the video, that's where Ekeler starts explaining why it might take the Chargers offense a few weeks to click.
"It's going to take time as an offense. Everyone has to realize this is the first time us as a starting offense have actually played real football against somebody else. There's going to be some learning. There's going to be some 'Oh, this guy's playing well. This guy's not. Or we're going to get this guy a little more involved vs this matchup down the road.'"
"We'll get into the rhythm. Justin will keep finding Mike more and more. He'll have more opportunities to make some plays. I know it was a little bit more limited yesterday (Monday) but don't give up on him. We'll see how it plays out. I don't think you should be concerned but there is some type of -- I'll put an asterisk by it."
Honestly, we weren't concerned until the last part. It's normal for an offense to stumble out of the gates in Week 1, especially if starters are rested during preseason. And say what you will about joint practices -- the Chargers practiced with the Cowboys over the summer -- but those just give players an excuse to hit non-teammates for the first time all of camp.
Herbert's stat line from Week 1 isn't indicative of a QB who was rusty or lacked chemistry with his receivers. Quite the opposite, actually. But how many times last year did Williams with less than three catches and 15 receiving yards. The answer is one: Week 4 against the Raiders ironically enough.
Maybe Ekeler was just posturing so the Chiefs let their guard down ahead of a big matchup, but couldn't you sense some apprehension in the RB's tone? Who knows what's actually going on, but these comments won't have Bolts fans feeling confident ahead of Thursday's box-office showdown. That's for sure.