Where do the LA Chargers stack up in different NFL power rankings before Week 1?
We are so close to the LA Chargers being back in action and it does not even feel real at this point with no preseason games to get us excited. The LA Chargers open the 2020 season against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in 10 days time (at the time of writing this).
The Chargers are one of the more interesting teams in the league heading into 2020. They underwent a quarterback change from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor (and eventually Justin Herbert).
They have a really solid defense that will be without Derwin James, unfortunately. The biggest question is if this team can win games with its defense and if Tyrod Taylor will be able to succeed behind a potentially bad offensive line.
How do the Chargers stack up to the rest of the NFL? We took a look at several different NFL outlets and their most recent NFL power rankings this season to get an idea. Thanks to our friends over at Niner Noise for the idea.
Bleacher Report staff: 26th
“The Chargers would be higher on this list if not for two things: another significant James injury and a gaping hole at left tackle.”
That is fair. The Derwin James injury is a big one and it cannot be discounted and we definitely do not like the idea at all of Sam Tevi being the team’s starting left tackle. However, 26th still seems a bit low. What about some other NFL outlets?
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: 22nd
“Ingram’s pass-rushing counterpart, Joey Bosa, recently signed a five-year extension worth $135 million, the biggest contract ever handed to a defensive player. Ingram, 31, is entering the final year of his deal, and it’s fair to wonder if the size of Bosa’s deal will ultimately end Ingram’s Chargers run after 2020.”
This power ranking is a bit outdated as it was posted in mid-August and has not been updated on NFL.com. Ingram has agreed to a fully guaranteed contract restructure so he will play this season, although his future with the team is still up in the air.
Derwin James obviously was not hurt at the time of Hanzus’ ranking, so the Chargers might realistically be lower than 22nd on his next edition.
ESPN Staff: 24th
“Taylor, who has served mostly as a backup in the NFL with the exception of three seasons as a starter with the Buffalo Bills, must quickly produce to stave off Herbert, who was drafted with the sixth overall pick to eventually become the face of the franchise.”
Tyrod Taylor is considered to be on the hot seat by ESPN but even if he does not play well I do not think that he loses the starting job this season. If Taylor plays poorly this year it does not mean that Herbert will necessarily start. If Taylor struggles it will be because of the offensive line. The worst thing to do is put a rookie quarterback behind a bad offensive line.
Randy Gurzi, NFL Spin Zone: 25th
“Even with [Melvin Ingram] back, the Chargers don’t have the look of a team ready to contend in 2020. They have problems on the offensive line and Austin Ekeler might not be a true lead back.
On top of that, the Kansas City Chiefs are still dominating the AFC West and the Denver Broncos roster is much improved. This could be a season full of growing pains in L.A.”
Again, the offensive line is a recurring trend here. However, I have to respectively disagree with the comments about Austin Ekeler. Ekeler had over 1,500 yards from scrimmage last season and only played in 57 percent of the LA Chargers’ offensive snaps. He is a RB1.
LA Chargers consensus power ranking: 24.25
Well, the jury is out, not many outlets like the LA Chargers to be a league-average team next season, let alone a team in the top 20. While it hurts to see this as a Charger fan, I do not blame the outlets for such a low ranking.
The fact of the matter is that the Chargers are coming off of a 5-11 season and in the eyes of many just got worse at the quarterback position. The defense, which is supposed to be the anchor of this team, is without its best player that was going to help improve the D even more from last year.
I do think the LA Chargers should be higher than they are but I absolutely understand why they received the rankings that they did.