All the way until the end, Dan Hanzus of NFL.com kept the Chargers held in high regard. In the final edition of various regular season power rankings, Hanzus and Matt Williamson of Pro Football Network were the only two publications to rank the Chargers in the top half of the league, with the Bolts coming in at No. 14 and No. 16, respectively.
Most of these rankings are better than most would have expected just a month ago when it seemed like the team was doomed to falter into the basement of the NFL. Fortunately, the Bolts flipped the script and ended the year with a ton of momentum. It wasn’t enough to save Anthony Lynn’s job, but whoever gets to coach this franchise going forward, they’ll be be in one of the best positions possible for immediate success.
Let’s dive in.
NFL.com - #14
“Justin Herbert capped his historic rookie season with another big performance in the Chargers’ fourth consecutive win ... but it still wasn’t enough to save Anthony Lynn’s job. The Bolts announced Monday they were parting ways with the head coach after four seasons of bad luck and underachievement. Lynn is widely respected in league circles, so expect him to catch on somewhere as an assistant in short order. As for the Chargers gig? With a strong roster and a tremendous young quarterback entering the second year of his rookie deal, you can argue this is the best job opening out there. This is no teardown project — the Bolts are looking for someone who can find those three or four wins that get lost in the mix every year with this star-crossed franchise.” — Dan Hanzus
Pro Football Network - #16
“Granted, it was against a shell of a Chiefs team, but Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense put on a fine and balanced display as they earned their seventh win of the year. Los Angeles held the ball for nearly 35 minutes, and Mike Williams played like a true number one receiver. The Chargers won four in a row to complete their year, and there is a lot to work with here going forward.” — Matt Williamson
NBC Sports - #17
“The Chargers quietly won their last four games and they have a decent amount of talent on that roster. A new coach could make a big difference in Los Angeles.” — Adam Hoge
USA Today - #18
“Prospective head coaches should be beating a path to coach a team with QB Justin Herbert and DE Joey Bosa as cornerstones.” — Nate Davis
CBS Sports - #19
“Justin Herbert is a future star. He was sensational as a rookie, which gives them - and their new coach, whoever that will be - a lot of hope.” — Pete Prisco
The Touchdown Wire - #21
“As this season draws to a close, all eyes are on whether the Los Angeles Chargers made a change with Anthony Lynn. Leading up to Sunday’s season finale it seemed that the Chargers’ recent run of success, coupled with buy-in from players, might be enough to save Lynn’s job. Certainly a win over the defending Super Bowl Champions, even if they were resting their starters, might help.”
“While there is uncertainty over the coach, there is none regarding the quarterback. Justin Herbert’s rookie season showed that he belonged on the big stage, and just might alter how the position is evaluated in future draft cycles. That might also mean that offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton, are in huge demand this off-season.” — Mark Schofield