The LA Chargers took their bye week early and hope to now shoot up the NFL power rankings.
The LA Chargers had to take their bye week earlier than anticiapted and now enter an 11-game stretch that will make or break the team’s playoff run. Luckily for the Chargers, the hardest games are behind them and the team has one of the easiest remaining schedules in football.
This presents an opporutnity for the Chargers to shoot up the NFL power rankings in the second half of the season. Despite being 1-4, the Bolts have held steady right below the league’s median, likely because of Justin Herbert and the talent that the team does possess.
It is time that the Chargers win these games, not lose them. If they lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars this week then there is no doubt that they will fall hard down the power rankings. For now, here is how the LA Chargers’ consensus power rankings look:
Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: 18th (-1)
“The Bolts have been a walking MASH unit this season, so a week to rest and recover could pay huge dividends for a 1-4 team that still has big upside with sizzling rookie Justin Herbert under center. No one needed the break more than Joey Bosa, the star pass rusher who was limited to just 28 defensive snaps against the Saints in Week 5 due to knee, ankle and triceps injuries. A refreshed Bosa makes every level of the Chargers’ defense better.”
Hanzus hits it right on the head in his analysis. While this bye week created an 11-game stretch with no break for the Chargers, it gave the team a much-needed week off to rest up and get healthy.
Bosa is going to be closer to 100% and the entire defensive line is getting a facelift as both Melvin Ingram and Justin Jones are set to return to action in Week 7. Jones, while not being a huge name, is more impactful to this defensive line than most realize.
Bleacher Report staff: 22nd (no movement)
“After losing nine one-score games last season, the Los Angeles Chargers have dropped four of five to open this year—all by one score.
But if you’re a glass-half-full type of person, at least their transition at quarterback from Philip Rivers to Justin Herbert is going well.
Yes, Herbert is 0-4 as a starter, but it’s awfully hard to blame that record entirely on him. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft is completing 68.8 percent of his passes, is averaging nearly 299 passing yards per game and has a passer rating of 107.1.”
Sometimes it can be hard looking at the bright side of things when you are an LA Chargers fan but Justin Herbert has provided a massive bright side that is just too hard to ignore. He is already one of the most exciting quarterbacks in football and the Chargers are relieved that they don’t have to have a quarterback carousel.
While it does suck to continue losing one-possesion games, especially when the team led by multiple possesions in three of them, they did come to some legit Super Bowl contenders. Against lesser teams, the Chargers should (hopefully) take care of business.
ESPN staff: 21st (-1)
“Anthony Lynn named Herbert the permanent starter just before his Monday Night Football debut — and he was spectacular. It’s impossible not to feel for Taylor and his bad luck in this league. “He’s a competitor,” Lynn said. But so is Herbert, who is also the future — and the player who could guide this team out of its early funk.”
ESPN’s focus on the power rankings was naming each team’s most impactful injury and for the LA Chargers it is Tyrod Taylor. That is absolutely true, as Taylor’s injury (while very unfortunate) opened the door for the franchise quarterback to prove his worth.
Randy Gurzi, NFL Spin Zone: 25th (-2)
“They can hold their heads high about that as they enter the bye week looking for a way to salvage the season. Los Angeles can also boast about the way their young quarterback has played as Justin Herbert has held his own all season — even standing out as the best signal-caller on the field when it was him against Drew Brees and “Inspector Gadget” Taysom Hill of the Saints.”
More praise for Herbert, but that has become the norm for these power rankings. Even though the Chargers are 1-4 this season, they have a really talented young quarterback that they can be proud of. That is massive.
LA Chargers’ consensus ranking: 21.5
This is the lowest that the LA Chargers have been all season and it appears as if they were hurt by the bye week as they moved down in the power rankings in all but one of the four, in which they simply stayed put.
Luckily, as we mentioned, an easier portion of the schedule is coming up and the Chargers should be able to move up a handful of spots with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Charger fans should be rooting for more than just a win, though, they should be rooting for a blowout. If the Chargers are going to be a playoff team then they need to mop the floor with a team like Jacksonville.