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Chargers Week 9 Power Rankings Roundup

Where do the Bolts land after their second-straight loss?

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NFL: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

A second-straight loss for the Chargers saw the team take a dip in most power rankings across the media landscape. Some publications, however, believe the team’s stroke of bad play is simply about the specific matchups that don’t necessarily reflect the overall picture of this team.

However, some have looked at these past two losses and genuinely believe the Chargers are close to being in some real trouble. This is the widest spectrum of rankings for the Chargers in well over a month to no surprise, as well.

Curious to see where they landed? Let’s go ahead and take a look.

Pro Football Network - #8

“The Chargers aren’t a failing team — they just lined up against a team that was tailor-made to beat them. Unfortunately, it was the Chargers that effectively beat themselves. Justin Herbert threw 2 interceptions, but one came off the hands of a receiver, and the other came from Jared Cook picking daisies when Herbert threw him the ball.”

“This was a weird game. The Chargers ran it better than they threw it, and the Patriots beat them without exploiting their biggest flaw — the run defense. If Los Angeles doesn’t suffer the two untimely turnovers, they probably win this game. But that’s not the way things went, and they’re forced to fall in the NFL Power Rankings because of it.” - Dalton Miller

Bleacher Report - #9

“After getting blasted in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Chargers had an off week to think about what went wrong against the Ravens and fix it ahead of Sunday’s home tilt with the New England Patriots.”

“Apparently, the Bolts did too much thinking and not enough fixing. Because after a mistake-filled effort against the Pats, the Chargers have lost two straight and dropped out of first place in the AFC West.”

“There were some bright spots for the Chargers, including improved defensive play against the run. While speaking to reporters after the game, head coach Brandon Staley singled out the defense as a positive that the team can build on moving forward.”

“‘I felt like our run defense actually took an incredible step forward today,’ Staley said. ‘A huge step forward, I thought we tackled extremely well, I thought we were really physical. I thought getting Justin Jones back was important. I felt like the way we played on defense today gave us a real chance to win.’”

“Still, after back-to-beat defeats, the pressure on the Chargers is mounting to get back on track next week in Philadelphia, especially with three out of four games against teams with .500 or better records coming afterward.” - NFL Staff

USA Today - #10

“A pair of tough losses sandwiched their bye week, but QB Justin Herbert and Co. should get right as the schedule serves up more forgiving defenses.” - Nate Davis

Sports Illustrated - #11

“These power rankings are anti-small sample size overreaction, but they are pro recency bias—and the Chargers have lost some luster the last two weeks. I was willing to somewhat excuse the blowout loss to the Ravens, at least a little bit, like I can the Packers’ loss to the Saints or the Rams’ big loss to the Cardinals. But to follow that up with a loss to the Patriots coming out of the bye was dispiriting. It’s hard not to feel like the Chargers have let a golden opportunity slip away, failing to build a cushion as the Chiefs got off to a rocky start.” - Mitch Goldich - #12

“We’ve seen the ceiling of the Chargers’ offense this season, and it’s quite high. What surprises us is how low the floor is. The Bolts’ attack was held in neutral for the second consecutive week on Sunday, a 27-24 loss to the Patriots that prompts questions about where Los Angeles truly fits in the AFC pecking order. Justin Herbert threw for just 143 yards before a garbage-time scoring drive in the final minutes, and issues with pass protection and early-down efficiency were glaring. The Chargers’ defense had its way with Patriots rookie Mac Jones and repeatedly gave the offense the opportunity to take control of the game — and they couldn’t do it.” - Dan Hanzus

ESPN - #12

“Never thought I’d write this, not with Justin Herbert at QB and the number of top receivers the Chargers have, but they have struggled at times, especially this past Sunday against the Patriots. Herbert threw two interceptions against the Pats (one of which was returned for a pick-six), which gives him six on the year. He had just 10 as a rookie. He hasn’t been helped by his receivers, because of either drops (running back Austin Ekeler) or running the wrong routes (tight end Jared Cook). Worse yet, the Chargers have put themselves in tough third-down situations due to inconsistent play on first and second down.” - Shelley Smith

Sporting News - #13

“The Chargers looked flat defensively out of the bye with more issues against the run and their downfield passing game slumped with Justin Herbert. Brandon Staley’s team is at a midseason crossroads between playoff push and second-half fade.” - Vinnie Iyer

The Ringer - #14

New York Post - #15

CBS Sports - #15

“Losing two in a row is not a good look for this team. Justin Herbert has to pick up his play, but the offensive design isn’t helping him.” - Pete Prisco