The Los Angeles Chargers haven't played in a Super Bowl since 1994 when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers. But with the team currently in first place in the AFC West, the Chargers could be a dark horse team to play in the big game which will be played at the Chargers (and Los Angeles Rams) home stadium in February. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Chargers star running back Austin Ekeler who was asked about the team's Super Bowl chances. He admitted to not liking the question since he can't "look that far."
"Every team in the NFL, every Sunday you can be beat," Ekeler told PopCulture. "So it's like, as a player, you can never look as far as down the road, like, 'Oh, we're going to be in the Super Bowl playoffs' thinking about that, because you got to win the game that's in front of you first. So, in the back of our mind we're like, 'Hey, we're a solid team, we have aspirations to get there.' But the focus has to be the opportunity in front of us, because you can't put the cart before the horse. And I was like, 'We got to get there first, then we can have that conversation.' So, right now, it's 'Hey, continue to do what we've been doing.'"
The Chargers are tied with the Las Vegas Raiders for the AFC West lead but have the tiebreaker due to beating them head-to-head. They are also tied with three other teams for the second-best record in the AFC but also claim the tiebreaker over them due to their conference record as well as strength of victory. Ekeler has been one of the reasons for the team's success, posting 598 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns. But quarterback Justin Herbert is becoming a top quarterback in the NFL, registering 1,771 passing yards, 14 touchdowns in just four interceptions with a 98.8 passer rating.
"I feel like we've had some vets around here that have been around for a while, just on our offense, and then we come in and bring in a whole new offensive line with some veterans on it. And then we have Rashawn Slater, who's playing lights out. I think that's really important in Justin Herbert's success, definitely, he's got to be a special character to have the success that he's having, but he needs a team around him as well that knows what they're doing, that can be trusted, that can be in the right spot at the right time.
"We've been getting open, we've been protecting him, we've been giving opportunities to make the plays, and he's shown that he can make the plays and be consistent, and that's what it comes down to. Hey, sure, you had two good plays here and there, but you can consistently do it over and over again, now you're starting to go towards MVP talks, superstar talks, which, he's proving himself right now. I see him do it for 12 more weeks straight in the top playoffs. But as far as right now, yeah, we're on the right track."