There is tangible excitement around the LA Chargers as the 2022 season gets closer and closer. While the 2021 season ultimately ended in a disappointing fashion, there were promising signs from the season and the Bolts have built on those signs in the offseason.
The Chargers were aggressive in free agency and in making trades and solved a lot of the issues that the roster had last season. With a solid draft class and a full year of Justin Herbert in this new system, the sky is the limit for the Chargers in 2022.
That is not just biased fan talk, either. The Chargers are widely respected by NFL pundits with the Bolts being in an elite tier of Super Bowl contenders because of their elite quarterback and the talent they have around him.
The Chargers checked in as the seventh-ranked team in the entire league in ESPN's most recent post-draft power rankings. That might seem too low for optimistic Charger fans but it is undeniable that the Chargers are in an elite class.
The Chargers are among the top tier of contenders in the NFL.
As far as I am concerned, the Chargers are the cut-off for legitimate Super Bowl contenders before the 2022 season begins. That does not mean that a team below the Chargers cannot win the Super Bowl, but when we are talking about tiers in the NFL, the Chargers are the last of that top tier. Sorry to the Dallas Cowboys.
Ranking ahead of the Chargers, in order, are the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LA Rams and Buffalo Bills. It is understandable why all of those teams rank ahead of the Chargers and the great part is the Bolts can easily jump most of those teams.
The Bengals could regress after having one of the easiest schedules in the league last season, the Packers, Chiefs and Bucs all undoubtedly got worse talent-wise from last season and in the case of the Packers and Bucs, have old quarterbacks who could regress without warning (although Rodgers and Brady are still obviously elite as we stand here today).
The Rams and Bills are the absolute top tier of NFL teams and the Chargers potentially cracking into a top three with them is not only possible, but could be possible quickly with a few big wins early on in the 2022 season.
The AFC West boasts four teams above the median with the Denver Broncos checking in at no. 12 and the Las Vegas Raiders checking in at no. 13.