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Final NFL Power Rankings: What a year!

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Let’s see how the Chargers stack up now... versus week 1!

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Coach Anthony Lynn avoided Ragnarok this season

Well, folks, it has been quite a year! And the good news is that the year is not over yet, but the Power Rankings would be even sillier to continue on with.

It is also an interesting philisophical time, where we can see whether a certain media outlet truly aligns their rankings with a team’s perceived strength in comparison to others, or just how they did/should do in a given year. Example: The Steelers are a very, very good team that missed the playoffs. Should their Power Ranking be exactly commensurate to their draft position, or should they jump over even some of the playoff teams? What does this have to do with the Chargers, you ask?

Well, the Chargers are, by all accounts, about the 2nd or 3rd best team in football right now. However, here we find them playing on Wildcard Weekend. Will their Power Ranking have them near the bottom of the 12, or will it be among the top 4—even if they are on the road next?

USA Today

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Chicago Bears

3. Los Angeles Rams

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Baltimore Ravens

6. Los Angeles Chargers

They crest too soon? Philip Rivers has looked quite mortal since heroics in Kansas City and didn’t come close to solving Ravens in Week 16.

7. New England Patriots

8. Indianapolis Colts

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Houston Texans

Bleacher Report

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Rams

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Chicago Bears

5. Baltimore Ravens

6. Los Angeles Chargers

No comment

7. New England Patriots

8. Houston Texans

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Indianapolis Colts

ESPN

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Los Angeles Rams

4. Chicago Bears

5. Los Angeles Chargers

New Year’s resolution: Get more wins on the road. The Chargers are 8-0 when they board a plane this season, and they need to continue that trend to advance in the playoffs, starting Sunday on the road against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC wild-card game. “We love coming into your place -- whichever team you may be -- and doing our thing,” Chargers free safety Derwin James said. “We come into your place ready to play.” -- Eric D. Williams

6. New England Patriots

7. Houston Texans

8. Baltimore Ravens

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Indianapolis Colts

NumberFire.com

1. Los Angeles Rams

2. Chicago Bears

3. New Orleans Saints

4. Los Angeles Chargers

No comment

5. New England Patriots

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Kansas City Chiefs

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Seattle Seahawks

10. Indianapolis Colts

NFL.com

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Chicago Bears

3. Los Angeles Rams

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. New England Patriots

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers closed the book on what can only be deemed a highly successful regular season. The Bolts might have finished second in the AFC West, but under Anthony Lynn’s leadership, they didn’t allow themselves to be derailed by speed bumps, including the early losses of Hunter Henry (though he’s on his way back) and Jason Verrett (remember him?). Even as the No. 5 seed in the AFC, these guys are capable of beating anyone, starting with the Ravens on Sunday. Yes, Baltimore owned the Chargers in Week 16. But think of this weekend’s matchup more like a pitcher’s second time through the batting order. Don’t expect the Ravens to cruise. Can’t wait for that sucker.

8. Indianapolis Colts

9. Houston Texans

10. Seattle Seahawks

CBS Sports

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Rams

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Chicago Bears

5. New England Patriots

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Los Angeles Chargers

They will be a dangerous wild-card team. They have a passer and pass rushers.

8. Indianapolis Colts

9. Dallas Cowboys

10. Seattle Seahawks

Sports Illustrated

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Chicago Bears

4. New England Patriots

5. Los Angeles Rams

6. Baltimore Ravens

7. Indianapolis Colts

8. Los Angeles Chargers

No comment

9. Philadelphia Eagles

10. Dallas Cowboys

Conclusions

Well, these conclusions pretty much write themselves. I think it might be more helpful to take a look back at how the Chargers were ranked BEFORE week one of this season:

According to Sports Illustrated’s staff voting, they were indeed considered to be playoff-bound, but the 2018 Chargers steered to a better record than most expected.

2018 Pre-season Power Rankings

10. Los Angeles Chargers

Highest-place vote: Seventh (1)

Lowest-place vote: 11th (3)

Last season: 9-7, missed playoffs

Not too shabby! Let’s compare that to the statistics for this week!

  • Average Ranking: 6.1
  • Most Common Ranking: 6.0 & 7.0
  • Average Ranking of Baltimore Ravens: 6.0
  • Chargers Spread Vs. the Ravens: [+2.5]
  • Top New Year’s Resolution: Save money (53%)

Playoffs, here we come!

-Jason “Secretly appreciates when full seasons fit snugly into complete calendar years” Michaels