'I'm definitely surprised' by Chiefs' struggles, says Chargers RB Austin Ekeler


The reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs no longer posses the aura of invincibility. They're below .500 for the first time since 2015 -- cellar dwellers in a competitive division race -- with glaring issues on both sides of the ball.

Through five games, the Chiefs are undeniably vulnerable. And their downturn has come as a shock to Los Angeles Chargers star running back Austin Ekeler.

"I would definitely say I'm surprised to see them struggling, just because of the powerhouse that they've been over the last couple years," Ekeler told the Tiki and Tierney show on Tuesday. "I was watching the other day, and a lot of things that don't usually happen were happening -- Mahomes throwing a lot of balls in the dirt, dropped balls or picks that were coming off of tips. I'm not sure what's going on over there, but yeah, I'm definitely surprised."

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Tiki and Tierney
Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers Running Back
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Kansas City's road to Super Bowl 56 won't be free of roadblocks or potholes. They were embarrassed by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, as Josh Allen carved up the Chiefs' porous defense with four touchdowns in a 38-20 win. Entering Week 6, Kansas City's defense ranks 31st in the league in average yards allowed (437.4) and dead last in average points (32.6).

To make matters worse, the Chiefs' offense is in a funk. Patrick Mahomes has already thrown as many interceptions as he did all of last season (6), and the unit leads the NFL in turnovers (11). At this point last year, they only had three giveaways. Ironically, the Chiefs still rank top-five in average yards and points.

As for the Chargers, they're off to an electric start. Behind a three-touchdown performance from Ekeler, they survived the madness of a 47-42 thriller against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon at SoFi Stadium, improving to 4-1. Chargers second-year quarterback Justin Herbert was stellar in the shootout, as he threw for 398 yards with five touchdowns. According to NFL research, Herbert recorded his 11th career game with 300-plus passing yards, the most by any player in his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era.

Los Angeles (4-1) will visit the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) in a marquee Week 6 matchup on Sunday. According to FiveThirtyEight's projections, the Chargers have a 90-percent chance to reach the playoffs and a 63-percent chance to win the AFC West.

The entire Chargers conversation between Ekeler and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow the Tiki and Tierney Show on Twitter @TikiAndTierney and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.