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Power Rankings Roundup: Somehow the Chargers are still ignored

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The Chargers are officially a powerhouse team without the ranking to show for it

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As we begin the tail-end of the season, Chargers fans are often pretty excited at the prospect of December football. As recently illustrated, the Bolts have had a great record through the late fall while Philip Rivers has been in command.

This year has been an interesting one for the Chargers and their clout. While they had knocked out some fairly talented teams, they also lost to teams that were widely considered better than them. Other than a slapstick day at the gridiron against Denver, the Chargers have really played exactly as a top-3 team should: beating everyone 4 or lower!

But wait.. they are a top 3 team in rankings, aren’t they?

ESPN

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. New Orleans Saints

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. New England Patriots

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Almost No. 1 in explosive plays. The Chargers have 83 explosive plays this season (running plays of 15-plus yards or passing plays of 20-plus yards). Only the Kansas City Chiefs (86) have more. The Bolts have been so-so on third downs this season, but one of the reasons they are among the league leaders in scoring (sixth overall) is a Philip Rivers-led offense’s ability to create chunk plays to make it easier to get into scoring position. -- Eric D. Williams

6. Houston Texans

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Chicago Bears

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Baltimore Ravens

CBS Sports

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. New England Patriots

4. New Orleans Saints

5. Houston Texans

6 .Dallas Cowboys

7. Seattle Seahawks

8. Chicago Bears

9. Los Angeles Chargers

That was an impressive victory on the road against the Steelers. Philip Rivers has been special this season. Last week: 6

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL.com

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Rams

3. New England Patriots

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Can you imagine how good this Chargers team would be if it was at full steam? The operation has been devoid of many of its parts this season. On Sunday, we all saw what Anthony Lynn’s group is capable of when both sides of the ball play cohesively. The Bolts lost tight end Hunter Henry and cornerback Jason Verrett -- two Pro Bowl-level players who are difficult to replace -- early in the year. (Verrett has only appeared in 25 of 92 possible games since the Chargers drafted him in 2014, but Henry was supposed to be central to the offense, particularly in the red zone.) Then Joey Bosa, who didn’t make his first start this season until Week 11, had his 2018 coming-out party, notching two sacks against the Cardinalsin Week 12 -- only for running back Melvin Gordon to be lost in the same game. After all that, there was Los Angeles on Sunday, coming back from a 16-point second-half deficit to defeat a Super Bowl contender on the road.

6. Houston Texans

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Chicago Bears

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Dallas Cowboys

SB Nation

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. Los Angeles Chargers

3. Houston Texans

4. Chicago Bears

5. New England Patriots

6. Kansas City Chiefs

7. New Orleans Saints

8. Seattle Seahawks

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. Dallas Cowboys

Bleacher Report

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. New Orleans Saints

3. New England Patriots

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Los Angeles Chargers

No comment.

6. Houston Texans

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Chicago Bears

9. Dallas Cowboys

10. Seattle Seahawks

USA Today

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. New Orleans Saints

3. New England Patriots

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Team so often vexed by special teams got 73-yard punt return for TD in fourth quarter, game-winning FG at gun in comeback at Pittsburgh.

6. Houston Texans

7. Dallas Cowboys

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Chicago Bears

10. Denver Broncos

Sports Illustrated

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. New Orleans Saints

3. New England Patriots

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers Step Into the Spotlight With Comeback Win over Steelers

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (they actually gave Chargers and Steelers a tie for 5th. COP OUT!)

7. Dallas Cowboys

8. Houston Texans

9. Minnesota Vikings

10. Chicago Bears

Pro Football Focus

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Rams

3. New England Patriots

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers pulled out a stunner on the road, gaining 25 PFFELO points and leapfrogging the Steelers in our rankings. Not many thought it was possible, but at age 36, Philip Rivers somehow is playing the best football of his career, posting the league’s fourth-most WAR at 4.55. Projecting 11.5 wins for the Chargers, our model has them at 96% chance of making the playoffs and an 11.5% chance at a first-round bye.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

7. Baltimore Ravens

8. Chicago Bears

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Dallas Cowboys

Well, it wasn’t as dramatic a jump as many expected. Actually, it’s a very surprising result, after the Chargers established themselves as a Super Bowl contender in front of a national audience.

One very important detail to add here is that CBS Sports is officially absolutely useless when it comes to Power Rankings. In the minds of the wizards over there, the Chargers crushed one of the best teams in the league... and dropped three places?? I’d say that SpaceX should offer to send these guys to the moon, but all indications point to their writers have already spent enough time with Elon Musk in the room. The Chargers are listed below a Chicago team that just lost to the Giants, and a Dallas team that... well, did pretty good last week.

  • Average Ranking: 5.12
  • Most common ranking: 5.0
  • Avg. dropped by Steelers: 3.7 places
  • CBS Ratings in 2018: Down 8% from 2017
  • Correlation between power rankings and network ratings: 0.000001%

-Jason “No respect” Michaels