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NFL Power Rankings: LA Chargers don’t fall much despite ugly loss

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The LA Chargers lost a game they should have won in Week 3 and their stock undoubtedly dropped.

Week 3 was as disappointing as it gets for the LA Chargers. After an overtime loss that actually felt good against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers could not get out of their own way against the Carolina Panthers, committing three costly first-half turnovers.

Although Justin Herbert committed two of those turnovers, he was not bad in this game. The interception was a rookie mistake but the strip-sack was more of a result of Bryan Bulaga completely blowing his blocking assignment.

Sure, Herbert could have tucked the ball and taken the sack but he was looking to the left side of the field and did not appear to see the rush off the edge. I personally think there is a very short list of quarterbacks that would not have fumbled in that same situation.

Regardless, it was an ugly loss for the LA Chargers. After going up last week despite a loss, the Bolts are almost guaranteed to go down in this week’s consensus power rankings.

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: 19th (-1)

“If Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler connect on an uncontested lateral toss, Ekeler sprints into the end zone for a miracle walk-off touchdown, and the Chargers are the talk of the league. But, in true Chargers fashion, the ball instead hit the carpet, and the Bolts were saddled with a 21-16 loss to the previously winless Panthers.”

This is the truest thing I have heard about the game. If the LA Chargers end up scoring that walk-off touchdown then it might be the highlight-reel play of the entire season. Instead, it gets lost in the shuffle.

However, I can’t help but feel like it evened out. The team got lucky with a missed field goal by the Bengals and then unlucky with a lateral that Austin Ekeler probably catches 90 times out of 100. Hanzus does not appear to put too much stock into the loss.

Bleacher Report staff: 21st (-6)

“Herbert didn’t have a bad statistical outing—he threw for 330 yards and a score and had the Chargers in position for a game-winning touchdown. But he also committed two turnovers, and the Bolts aren’t the kind of team that can go minus-four in that category and have any hopes of winning.”

As mentioned above, despite the turnovers, I thought Herbert played really well in this game. Sure, you could make the case that Tyrod Taylor would not have committed at least one of those turnovers, but he would not have driven offensively as efficently as Herbert.

Bleacher Report ranked the Chargers much higher after their loss to Kansas City, bringing them back down to earth after this loss.

ESPN staff: 19th (-1)

“The Chargers are struggling with turnovers — both in causing and not committing them — again. Last year, they had 14 takeaways (worst in the league) and 31 giveaways (fourth-worst in the league) to result in an NFL-worst minus-17 turnover differential. After forcing two turnovers in a season-opening victory, the Chargers haven’t had a takeaway in the past two games. They’ve committed five turnovers, including four to Carolina this past Sunday.”

It was Joe Mixon’s fumble that ultimatley allowed the LA Chargers to win in Week 1 and the team did not capitalize on Melvin Ingram’s interception. While this is an issue for the Chargers, I do think it is a sliding scale.

Turnovers are going to happen. Are they good? Not at all. However, just because the team did not turnover the ball in Week 1 does not mean they were efficent. They had more three-and-outs in that game than the last two games combined, including two turnovers on downs.

Randy Gurzi, NFL Spin Zone: 18th (-2)

“So, if Herbert is playing so well, why is it understandable Lynn wants to return to Taylor? Simple — because the Chargers feel guilty. Taylor has missed the last two games after team doctors punctured his lung while trying to administer a pain-killing injection.”

It seems to be a foregone conclusion that Tyrod Taylor will be the starting quarterback once he is fully healthy to do so, even if the offense does look better with Justin Herbert under center.

Despite the disappointing loss, though, the Chargers do not fall to far down the power rankings at our FanSided sister site.

LA Chargers consensus power ranking: 19.25 (-2.50)

The LA Chargers really did not move much in the power rankings outside of the Bleacher Report rankings. However, Bleacher Report seemed to value the Chargers’ loss to the Chiefs a bit too much as they were much higher than everyone else last week.

The fact of the matter is this: the Chargers are tasked with as close to a must-win game as you can get this early in the season in Week 4. A 1-3 start, especially with the New Orleans Saints in Week 5, could be disastrous for the team.

Next. Five things to improve on in Week 4

It does not matter if they “lose pretty,” the LA Chargers need to win this game and if not, they deserve to fall down the power rankings.

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