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Chargers Week 17 Power Rankings Roundup

Did the Bolts plummet after their latest loss?

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

An embarrassing loss to the Texans has rightfully caused the Chargers to plummet in this week’s power rankings. Some publications are keeping their optimisms high for the Bolts’ future but others were already skeptical of this team before and this loss only served to reinforce their previously held idea of who this Chargers team is.

With two games to go, it’s essentially win or go home before the playoffs have even arrived.

With that said, let’s go ahead and check out where the Bolts landed in this week’s roundup.

CBS Sports - #12

“Losing on the road to the Texans is inexcusable. It doesn’t matter how many guys sat out with COVID. They play playoff-like games the next two weeks.” - Pete Prisco

Sporting News - #12

“What was that? The Chargers went from taking the Chiefs into overtime to not even staying with the Texans in regulation. The offense did its best with the running game but the defense shouldn’t be that bad without Joey Bosa.” - Vinnie Iyer

Sports Illustrated - #12

“I think there’s a clear drop from the top 11 down to whatever tier it is that starts here. Losing to the Texans is just inexcusable for a team that’s serious about reaching the playoffs, let alone making a leap to the upper echelon of the AFC. But there are enough mediocre or struggling teams that I had to put the Chargers somewhere, and they are still right in the thick of the race.” - Mitch Goldich

Yahoo Sports - #14

“The Chargers took one of the worst losses of the NFL season and saw their chances to make the playoffs go from 78 percent to 38.3 before kickoff on Monday night, via Football Outsiders. The Chargers missing the playoffs because they were blown out by a terrible Texans team would be another chapter of misery for this star-crossed franchise” - Frank Schwab - #14

COVID-19 came for the Chargers hard in Week 16, sending the team into Houston without star running back Austin Ekeler, No. 2 wideout Mike Williams and Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa. Even so, the result of Sunday’s action — a 41-29 loss to the previously 3-11 Texans — is hard to qualify as anything other than a bitter disappointment. Run defense continues to be a major issue: Los Angeles surrendered 189 yards on the ground, while three turnovers — two picks by Justin Herbert and a killer fumble by Justin Jackson — acted as the recipe for an upset. The season is on the line on Sunday against the Broncos. - Dan Hanzus

ESPN - #15

“James is by far the defensive MVP for this team. He didn’t play in Sunday’s loss to Houston and missed the end of the Week 15 overtime loss to the Chiefs due to a hamstring issue — highlighting how much the Chargers’ defense relies on him. Until then, he had 103 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. And even while injured, he stood on the sideline and helped with the playcalling. Coaches say there’s nobody like him in the NFL, and the Chargers need him back for their final two regular-season games if they are going to make a serious playoff push.” - Shelley Smith

Bleacher Report - #15

“In the long-ago days of last week, the Chargers were in the thick of the hunt in the AFC West. An overtime loss to the rival Chiefs in Week 15 put a dent in the chances of Los Angeles winning the division. Then the Bolts followed that up with a choke-job against the Houston Texans that may wind up keeping them out of the playoffs altogether.”

“Yes, the Chargers had several prominent players on the COVID-19 list, including running back Austin Ekeler and wide receiver Mike Williams. But the Texans were short just as many players, if not more. There’s no excuse for being thoroughly outplayed on both sides of the ball by a bad Houston team.”

“To his credit, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley didn’t while speaking to reporters after the loss.”

“‘I didn’t coach well enough,’ he said. ‘I didn’t put our guys in a good enough position to be consistent in the game, and that’s why we lost.’”

“It was a stunner that leaves the Chargers with no margin for error over their final two games—games in which their opponents (the Broncos and Raiders) are just as desperate as the Bolts suddenly are.” - NFL Staff

USA Today - #15

“If their season is ultimately ruined by Davis Mills and Rex Burkhead – or generally by a defense that’s given up more points than anyone else aside from the Jets – it’s worth asking how much progress Bolts have really made.” - Nate Davis

Pro Football Talk - #16

“The “go for it” debates are quite possibly a useful distraction from more fundamental flaws in L.A.” - Mike Florio