Finally, we’re back to an actual game week. We’re also finally past the tough stretch to open the season where the team faced three former Super Bowl MVPs in their past four contests. That’s quite the gauntlet.
The Chargers now get to face a much more manageable slew of quarterbacks over the next five weeks, which include a pair of intra-divisional games against the Broncos and Raiders.
Despite the bye, the Bolts moved a tad in some of the various power rankings out there. But again, even at 1-4, they haven’t fallen into the cellar yet, and that’s due to Justin Herbert’s stellar play.
The defense is also getting back a pair of starters from IR this week with even more starters likely to return from minor injuries that have held them back the past few weeks. When this team takes the field against the Jaguars on Sunday, it might look like a whole new crew.
Here’s to hoping.
Go ahead and check out all of the power rankings below for the Bolts from around the media.
NFL.com - #18
“A schedule shakeup prompted by COVID-19 worked out in the Chargers’ favor, with their bye moving up to Week 6. The Bolts have been a walking MASH unit this season, so a week to rest and recover could pay huge dividends for a 1-4 team that still has big upside with sizzling rookie Justin Herbert under center. No one needed the break more than Joey Bosa, the star pass rusher who was limited to just 28 defensive snaps against the Saints in Week 5 due to knee, ankle and triceps injuries. A refreshed Bosa makes every level of the Chargers’ defense better. The lowly Jaguars come to L.A. on Sunday.” — Dan Hanzus
ESPN - #21
“The Chargers have plenty of injuries to choose from (pick an injury, any injury), but none is more impactful than Taylor’s. He went down just before Game 2 with a punctured lung (from an injection for a rib injury). Up next was Justin Herbert, and a star was born. Anthony Lynn named Herbert the permanent starter just before his Monday Night Football debut — and he was spectacular. It’s impossible not to feel for Taylor and his bad luck in this league. “He’s a competitor,” Lynn said. But so is Herbert, who is also the future — and the player who could guide this team out of its early funk.” — Shelley Smith
Pro Football Talk - #21
“The Jaguars a/k/a Shad Khan’s Slump Tonic are coming to town just in time.” — Mike FLorio
CBS Sports - #22
“They come off their bye with a winnable game against the Jaguars. Justin Herbert should be able to keep it going against that defense.” — Pete Prisco
Bleacher Report - #22
After losing nine one-score games last season, the Los Angeles Chargers have dropped four of five to open this year—all by one score. But if you’re a glass-half-full type of person, at least their transition at quarterback from Philip Rivers to Justin Herbert is going well.
Yes, Herbert is 0-4 as a starter, but it’s awfully hard to blame that record entirely on him. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft is completing 68.8 percent of his passes, is averaging nearly 299 passing yards per game and has a passer rating of 107.1.
By any measure, Herbert has played well—so well that NFL.com recently ranked him inside the top 10 at the position. NFL.com’s Dan Parr sang his praises:
“To think this guy supposedly wasn’t good enough to start a month ago. The rookie has thrown those doubts in the dust bin with his sensational string of performances since replacing Tyrod Taylor as the Chargers’ QB1. There are now two players in modern NFL history with a 100-plus passer rating and 1,150-plus passing yards in their first four games: Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. And Herbert has done it with an injury-plagued supporting cast.”
So long as Herbert keeps playing at this level, the wins will come.
USA Today - #18
“In danger of becoming first team to lose three in a row while coughing up a lead of at least 17 points ... but danger should be minimal against Jacksonville.” — Nate Davis