Chargers RB Austin Ekeler against the Panthers
Sep 27, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Jeremy Chinn (21) and Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (53) stop Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) in the second quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It is becoming somewhat of a theme for the Los Angeles Chargers under head coach Anthony Lynn. Last season saw nine of the Chargers’ 11 losses come by one score.

Attempting to mount a comeback against a Carolina Panthers squad that had lost 10 consecutive heading into Week 3, we saw these late-game struggles hinder the Chargers once again.

Rookie first-round pick Justin Herbert, starting for the injured Tyrod Taylor, led Los Angeles to inside Carolina’s 30-yard-line in the final seconds with his team down 21-16.

That’s when Herbert hit Keenan Allen inside the 15-yard-line. In what is defined as a hook-and-lateral, Allen attempted get the ball to running back Austin Ekeler.

Check it out.

It’s not hyperbole to say that if Ekeler caught that ball in a clean manner, he’d have reached the end zone for the walk-off win in Southern California.

There’s no way Panthers corner Rasul Douglas would have prevented an Ekeler score with his momentum going in the completely opposite direction. Carolina dodged a major bullet here.

All the while, Los Angeles wasted another solid outing from Herbert. The rookie No. 6 overall pick completed 35-of-49 for 330 yards with a touchdown and an interception. As it relates to Ekeler, he’ll be remembered more for this drop than tallying a whopping 143 total yards in the narrow loss.

Vincent Frank
Editor here at Sportsnaut. Contributor at Forbes. Previous bylines include Bleacher Report, Yahoo!, SB Nation. Heard on ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Radio. Northern California native living it up in Las Vegas. The Keto lifestyle. Traveler. Reader. TV watcher. Dog daddy. Sam Malone = greatest TV character ever. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," John Keating.