Every year when the NFL Pro Bowl teams are revealed, the list of snubs comes out. This year is no different, as Cordarrelle Patterson, A.J. Terrell, Matthew Stafford, and Leonard Fournette are a few of the names missing. Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is another name — and perhaps the most significant absence from the rosters.
However, there is a silver lining for LA, believe it or not.
Austin Ekeler misses out on the AFC Pro Bowl roster
It was pretty surprising not to see Ekeler’s name when the rosters came out. Jonathan Taylor is more than deserving — in fact, he is right in the NFL NFL MVP race.
Joe Mixon and Nick Chubb are certainly Pro Bowl-worthy backs, but Ekeler should be here — plain and simple. The Chargers running back has put together a masterful year, totaling 789 yards and 10 scores on the ground while adding another 558 yards and seven scores in the passing game.
Overall, he is dominating in 2021 right next to Justin Herbert — who earned the Pro Bowl nod for the AFC alongside Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Still, Ekeler is more than just a fantasy football fanatic.
His numbers speak for his case as a member of the Pro Bowl, yet he is missing from the list.
Austin Ekeler has better overall numbers than both Nick Chubb and Joe Mixon
Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?
Nick Chubb leads Ekeler in rushing yards with 1,017. However, he has seven scores on the ground and registered just 16 receptions for 114 yards and a score.
Mixon also has more rushing yards than Ekeler, with 1,038 and the same amount of scores (10). But, the Cincinnati Bengals running back has 29 catches for 204 yards and a pair of scores, far less than the Chargers running back.
Obviously, we know none of these guys come close to Taylor’s rushing numbers, but Ekeler gets far more yards from scrimmage than the others.
Along those lines, the same can be said for Patterson, who does it on the ground and in the receiving game. Yet, the Atlanta Falcons sensation got passed on for the NFC Pro Bowl roster in another surprising decision.
So, why did Ekeler miss out on the Pro Bowl despite being second among his position group in TDs and yards from scrimmage?
The Chargers are heavily represented in the Pro Bowl and Austin Ekeler can still find his way into the mix
Sure, Ekeler’s name was left off, and who knows why.
However, there are a lot of Chargers on the Pro Bowl roster — including Herbert and five others.
Besides Herbert, Corey Linsley, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, rookie Rashawn Slater, and Derwin James earned Pro Bowl bids. Herbert was even named the starting quarterback for the AFC over both Mahomes and Jackson.
That is quite impressive, especially for a team with a new head coach and an entirely new staff from the 2020 season. Slater has been one of the best rookies in the NFL this season, and Linsley looks more and more like one of the best signings in the 2021 free agency period.
Allen, Bosa, and James speak for themselves, and Ekeler should have cracked this list. But there is a chance Ekeler still makes it in the game as an alternate — along with a few other Chargers.
All in all, a good amount of love for the Chargers, who have caught fire this season and can find their way into the playoffs if things go their way over the next three weeks.
After a couple of down years around the Chargers organization, there is excitement and new energy with Brandon Staley and Herbert taking over this team, and this group will be dangerous for years to come.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference