Austin Ekeler, Chargers' run game quiet in Buffalo Bills Week 16

Buffalo Bills v Los Angeles Chargers
Buffalo Bills v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

On Sunday, Buffalo came up with their third-straight win in a 24-22 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on December 23rd. The win came in big part thanks to Buffalo's defense that was stingy in allowing Charger's running back Austin Ekeler to get his yardage and it put a big knot in the L.A. offense.

Ekeler had struggled in the Chargers blowout loss to the Las Vegas Raiders before the matchup with Buffalo. He put up a combined 15 scrimmage yards both through the air and on the ground which was concerning since that combination between the air and ground attack is what makes him one of the more dynamic running backs in the NFL.

In fact, Ekeler's receiving game had been getting plugged up by a lot of teams with formidable front sevens for little production (i.e. Ekeler had below 10 receiving yards in the games against Green Bay and New England). Buffalo seemed to keep his air attack small (21 yards on 4 catches), but they also seemed to keep his rushing to a minimum as well.

Although he had 65 rushing yards, those came on 15 carries resulting in a 4-yard average. Ekeler also did not see a run further than 10 yards against the Bills at any point. The two-dimensional aspect of Ekeler's game is something the Chargers always look to use to their advantage and the Bills did their job in stopping that.

This reflects Buffalo's previous attempt at run-stopping against the Dallas Cowboys as they were able to hold Tony Pollard to right around a 4-yard average as well. The run stoppage was not only key for Buffalo in the win in Los Angeles this past weekend, but it also has been hugely helpful as a whole during their season revival as the playoffs creep closer and closer. 

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