COSTA MESA, Calif. (WNN) — Austin Eckeler helped more than a few fantasy soccer players who groomed him last week.
Running back to the Los Angeles Chargers, who said during training camp that “you better have me on your team if you want to get the fantasy points,” certainly won Monday’s 28-14 win over Las Vegas. Survive till the end of the night bargaining. With a career-high 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
He is hoping to do the same on Sunday when the Chargers host the Cleveland Browns in a 3-1 team matchup.
“It was amazing. The gaps were double-team,” Eckeler said of facing Las Vegas. “The Raiders play back and forth a little bit, so it should allow our guys to solidify really good double-teams. So that we could reach the linebackers at the second level. He did a really good job of it. I look forward to seeing more of it to come. Even with pass security, it’s coming together.”
While Ekeler’s performance against the Raiders made headlines, he remained solid in the first four weeks. He is second in league running backs this week in scrimmage yards (424) and eighth in rushing yards with 283.
Ekeler is among the league leaders despite having an average of only 17 scrimmage touches per game. But that amount is just fine for her because of her 5-foot-10, 200-pound frame.
“I am very open about my workload. I can’t take every single rep throughout the season, I don’t think many running backs can. Maybe (Tennessee Titans running back) Derrick Henry can,” Eckeller said. “But there has to be some balance. I’m able to produce during that time as well, but that’s because I’m available and healthy.”
Eckeler has also benefited from better depth in back running, which he lacked due to injuries and Melvin Gordon’s move to Denver last season. Rookie Larry Routry has emerged as the short-yardage specialist and Justin Jackson is injury free.
Eckeler is also in good health after missing six games last season due to a hamstring injury.
“You come into the season with high expectations, and we are living up to our expectations in almost all ways,” he said. “Just playing well, competing and sticking to the game plan. Make it work and win the game. As long as we have that formula, we will have high confidence. “
The Ekeler and Chargers running game will face a tough test against Cleveland, which is second in the league in total defense and third against runs.
Eckeler said that Los Angeles had a solid game plan against Washington’s defensive line in the opener because the offensive line kept Chase Young at bay for the most part. This week, however, the Chargers will face two edge rushers in Miles Garrett and Jadevon Clooney.
“Any defense we go up against, there are a lot of edge rushers, we have to have a plan,” Eckler said. “It comes down to how we’re going to have a different approach to these guys to slow them down and get some misdirection; stop their legs. Putting a chip on them, putting them in bunches with tight ends Give, things like that. When it comes down to it, I think we can really open up our run game when we’re just giving them smoke and a bunch of mirrors.”
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