Did you hear? The Super Bowl was on Sunday and the 2018 season is officially over now! No, really! This is true— that means that we can go all-guns-blazing into 2019 without any unanswered questions about the Bolts or their chances.
Well, then again.. I suppose that there are a few possible unanswered questions. Perhaps there’s room for discussion, after all.
And here, with the NFL’s goal to keep the news (and opinions) flowing 24/7/365, ESPN is the first outlet out of the gate to release their totally binding POWER RANKINGS for 2019.
Okay, folks, I have long said that Power Rankings are admittedly silly, but not pointless endeavors. They fairly accurately show a team’s respect and envisioned potential in a numerical system that allows for quick comparison and contrast. If we were to map the Chargers’ ranking through 2018, we would see it mirror fairly closely the Bolts’ performance throughout the season.
ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Power Rankings
2018 record: 12-4
Reason for optimism: Coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers are 21-11 in the regular season during Lynn’s tenure, and they reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013 last season, winning a game in the wild-card round. Lynn has brought a steadying hand and has empowered other players to lead, resulting in the Chargers emerging as Super Bowl contenders in 2019. -- Eric D. Williams
10. Baltimore Ravens
That’s a fair analysis. The placement is also fairly accurate to how the Chargers ended their 2018 campaign. My own list would have the Rams trading places with the Bears and the Eagles are definitely top 10 material (sorry Ravens and Texans, you were flash-in-the-pan in 2018). But this isn’t my list, this is ESPN’s, and they’ve done a pretty good job putting it together.
As I said before, the best use for these is comparison and contrast. Without out a similar All-Too-Early list from an equally reputable media outlet to compare with, let’s rewind to their pre-season take right after the 2017/18 Super Bowl:
2017 record: 9-7
The Chargers just missed the playoffs, but they also gave up their fewest points in a season since 1992. They don’t have many big free agents, so if Philip Rivers can continue to limit turnovers and the defense can continue to keep opponents in check, Los Angeles could be back in contention.
With the comparison of these two numbers, we can see that the Chargers are now being seen and respected as a Lombardi trophy candidate in the coming season.
-Jason “THERE ARE FIVE LIGHTS” Michaels