These are my weekly Chargers Power Rankings. They should be taken very seriously.
Here are some good Chargers (from best to less best):
1) Chargers bandwagon (Last Week: Not Ranked). This thing is picking up steam. And like Santa’s sleigh in “Elf,” it’s powered on Chargers fans’ optimism. That’s right, every time there’s negativity in the Bolts from the Blue comments section the bandwagon gets bogged down just a little bit more. You know the saying: “The best way to keep the Chargers winning, is believing a streak is just beginning.” … Bonus facts: Bandwagon as a term was almost never used before 1900. The oldest marching band, Notre Dame’s Band of the Fighting Irish, was founded in 1842.
2) Philip Rivers (Last Week: 1). Philip was it again on Sunday, leading the Chargers to a 33-30, overtime victory in Atlanta. He threw for a season-best 371 yards, his fourth 300-yard game this year. He took some shots in that game, too, so it’s always a good reminder that Chargers fans are currently watching the fourth-longest consecutive starts streak by a quarterback in NFL history (176, including playoffs). Phil trails only Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Eli Manning.
3) Joey Bosa (LW: 3). It wasn’t a fun week in the film room for Falcons linemen, as Bosa racked up five tackles (including two more sacks) and was a general nuisance. The Ohio State product has also brought along his signature “Bosa shrug” to San Diego, which is a quality, original sack celebration.
4) Future schedule (LW: NR). A road win against Denver is a tough ask. But Trevor Siemian scares nobody, and if the Chargers tick up from bone-headed to merely average on special teams (not impossible?), this one is winnable. Then, before a Week 11 bye, comes home games against terrible Tennessee and miserable Miami. Can you smell .500?
5) Denzel Perryman (LW: NR). Banged up throughout Sunday’s game, the former Hurricane had a game-tilting interception and fourth-down stuff in overtime. Two huge plays. Known mostly as a hard-hitter, it was just his third interception since high school as Perryman only tallied two picks at the “U.”
6) Tyrell Williams (LW: NR). After a seven-catch, 140-yard performance against Atlanta, Williams is the team leader in receiving yards (and 12th in the NFL; his 17.0 average per catch is 10th). Don’t forget: He also saved a touchdown after a first-quarter interception, running down a Falcons linebacker that the hosts later turned into merely a field goal.
7) Quick rules changes, NFL version (LW: NR). 1) Change to one foot in bounds on all catches. One foot is way more fun. 2) Go to the college overtime, moving it back to the 35 (instead of the 25 in college). 3) Celebrations: Legalize, stop criticizing. All of them. Team choreography. Everything. Make football fun again.
8) Josh Lambo (LW: 8). Continues to get it done, with more four field goals on Sunday. Although the curling, three-iron shot he hit for the game-winner in overtime started off slightly nerve-wracking from the television angle. Hit ’em straight, Josh.
9) Things that are not quite average (LW: NR). Colorado State University. In-N-Out. Denzel Washington action movies.
10) Mike McCoy (LW: -8). The Fighting McCoys just rallied from a 17-point deficit. And young guys are playing key roles all over the field. There’s good coaching in there.
Here are some bad Chargers (from worst to less worst):
1) Dean Spanos (Last Week: -1). Spanos stadium front man Fred Maas was recently quoted in USA Today saying, “The worst deal in Los Angeles is better than the best deal here.” Yes, the L.A. flirtations have already begun, and there’s nothing Chargers fans love more. Unfortunately, those don’t have a Nov. 8 deadline and could go on longer than Sorrento Valley freeway repairs. Unlike …
2) Measure C (LW: NR). A recent poll had Measure C gaining 39 percent of the upcoming vote (Measure D was at just 30 percent). With a decent chunk still undecided, that could increase some (especially with support from Kevin Faulconer). But, if Measure C goes down, how willingly will Spanos go to the negotiating table with Faulconer (and the City Council) to hammer out a new deal?
3) Joe Barksdale (LW: NR). A tough week at the office against the Falcons for the guitar-playing right tackle. He’ll need help against Von Miller and Co. this Sunday.
4) Griff Whalen (LW: NR). Rivers’ reaction after Whalen’s second-quarter, muffed kickoff attempt pretty much summed up that particular play, and a lot of Chargers special teams this year: A throwing up of the hands in disgust, followed by a lowering of the head in further anguish. There’s still an Eeyore-style raincloud over the Chargers kick returners this year. Sad.
5) Front office (LW: -7). It’s still a wonder how much Bosa’s summer holdout factored into the Chargers’ first three losses this year. Meanwhile, with a roster thinned by injuries, would Tom Telesco deal mid-round picks (which he often likes to do on draft day) to bring in a veteran reinforcement? How about someone like Arizona safety and Eastlake product Tony Jefferson?
6) Injuries (LW: NR). Rotational lineman Caraun Reid was the latest to hit the injured reserve, breaking up a one-game streak of relative health. That IR list is now up to 16 (plus Chris Watt on PUP).
7) Quick rules changes, college version (LW: NR). 1) Get rid of the knee down, man down. 2) More celebrations (see above). 3) Oh, and start paying players a larger percentage of those millions of TV dollars.
8) AFC West (Last Week: NR). Because the AFC West plays the crappy South divisions in each conference, the Chargers might have to play catch up simply by beating the other West teams. Unfortunately, this is looking like the best division in the league.
9) Other things that are not quite average (LW: NR). Cal-State Stanislaus. Wendy’s. Bruce Willis action movies.
10) Fourth-quarter pessimism (Last Week: NR). It only took seven games, but the Chargers finally outscored an opponent in the fourth quarter (and overtime!)