Most men mess up when huge pressure is on them. Plushenko did pretty much walk through 2006 not because he was so much more amazing than the rest but mostly because his rivals were all headcases of those days. Sorry Lambiel and Jeff but that’s true. Also, after 2002 or frankly after Yagudin retired, Plushenko almost had no rival so he practically level down his base value and still won most of the time.
Even though Plushenko was solid throughout his career, the fact was that be stayed with same watered down layout for years. That’s the biggest factor of his “consistency”. But still that’s better than his rivals anyway.
It is normal for most men to do well then they face less pressure than normal. Also it’s also normal for most men to do well when their rivals mess up. It’s also normal for the men to mess even when their rivals mess.
In short, men skating has always been like this.
Yuzuru will do well as he skate last when the other do well before him. But he didn’t enjoy skating before his rivals in the free. However he has learned to adapt to that at the Olympics. He has learned to cope up with the skating order. Or at least that’s what I hope.