These are my weekly Chargers Power Rankings. They should be taken very seriously.
Here are some good Chargers (from best to less best):
1) Disappointment (Last Week: Not Ranked). Hello, old friend. Like a favorite sleeping bag, I retreat back into your warmth. You are my comfort. I know nothing else.
2) Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief (NR). It only took one week: 1) Denial (this Chargers team could be different); 2) Anger (the fourth quarter in Kansas City on Sunday); 3) Bargaining (the next three games are winnable, aren’t they?); 4) Depression (this Chargers team will not be different); 5) Acceptance (at least we get to watch Philip Rivers every week).
3) Philip Rivers (LW: 1). When Philip stares into the void, hands at the helm, what does he see?
4) Keenan Allen (LW: 3). He really was poised for a big season. Why do bad things happen to good football players? Will there be a day in the future when sports medicine has predictive powers that can foretell when joints and muscles are at a potential breaking point? … Unfortunately, the difference in the offense without Keenan was quickly apparent against K.C., especially on third down.
5) Melvin Gordon (NR). Congratulations on your first two professional touchdowns, Mel. Still, an old story persists: He didn’t have a chance to get into a second-half rhythm thanks to a stalled offense. Will this be a troubling trend again in 2016?
6) Danny Woodhead (NR). Two more carries than Gordon on Sunday. With Allen out, he assumes the role of difference-maker among Chargers skill players. Will we see two-back sets with him and Gordon? (And with Woodhead in the slot?) … Also: Can fantasy players move on from Woodhead team names? It was funny the first 10 times.
7) Bargaining (NR). The next three games present an opportunity: vs. Jacksonville, at Indianapolis, vs. New Orleans. Emily Dickinson once wrote: “Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” John Burroughs: “Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.”
8) Jeremiah Attaochu (NR). A sack and two quarterback hits. Also: “Sneeze” is the best nickname on the team.
9) Offensive line (NR). One sack allowed. Emerged healthy. That should be enough most weeks.
10) Stadium studies (NR). A story published in the Union-Tribune last week cited a study by the Brookings Institute on publicly financed sports stadiums. A quote from the study’s authors: “... Academic studies consistently find no discernible positive relationship between sports facility construction and local economic development, income growth or job creation. Even if one believes, contrary to the empirical evidence, that the spillover benefits to the local economy justify subsidies, there still remains no economic justification for federal subsidies for sports stadiums.” That about sums it up, yep.
Here are some bad Chargers (from worst to less worst):
1) Dean Spanos (Last Week: -1). At least, for one week, he doesn’t own the worst pro football team in Southern California.
2) Front office (NR). In a tight game, would Joey Bosa have made a difference? We’ll never know. Was the two weeks of silent standoff between the team and his camp worth it? Nope.
3) Mike McCoy (LW: -3). After a 2-2 start last year, his team has won just two of its last 13 games. Also: McCoy’s club hasn’t beaten an AFC West foe since Nov. 16, 2014 (Raiders).
4) AFC West (NR). Right there with the AFC North as the best in the league. Will the Chargers win any games in this division?
5) Norv timeouts (NR). Named in honor of former Chargers coach Norv Turner, these are the timeouts burned when Rivers doesn’t get a play in from the sidelines. Norv was good for two or three of these per game, and the team was right at that mark on Sunday. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Lost time is never found again.”
6) Depression (NR). Mighty 1090 host Darren Smith asked Corey Luiget this week if the Kansas City loss felt like it ran the team’s record to 4-13 (including last year). Liuget admitted that, yes, it did. Somewhere, Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” was playing, wistfully.
7) Manti Te’o (LW: -7). Good: Led the team with 10 total tackles (and two for a loss). Bad: Chiefs running backs torched him and his linebacker mates for 13 catches and 153 yards. A familiar site.
8) Joey Bosa (LW: -8). A defense that wore down in the second half against K.C. needs whatever he can provide. Missed games count: still at 1.
9) Jaguars (NR). It feels like a Power 5 college team hosting a Group of 5 side in a non-conference matchup. The Chargers should win. A loss seems to portend another 4-12 season.
10) Acceptance (NR). George Orwell is credited (ironically?) with this quote: “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”