After a hard-fought victory, some of the doubters outside of the Chargers organization might be singing a different tune after the Bolts showed they could finish off an opponent on the road while holding on to a one-score lead in the fourth quarter.
It was the perfect game to begin the season as this team showed they can overcome the demons that seem to plague them year in and year out.
Despite the victory over a division winner from a year ago, the Chargers saw little movement within a number of rankings. That’s likely due to other teams winning in surprisingly dominant fashions and that left the Chargers, who squeaked out a victory, stuck where they were.
All in all, the Bolts are being viewed as one of the better teams in the NFL as displayed by zero placements within the bottom 16. The lowest ranking I could find was No. 15 which was given by CBS Sports and The Washington Post. NFL.com — who always loves the Chargers — unsurprisingly has them just outside the top 10. With a win over the Cowboys in week two, don’t be surprised to see the Bolts take a sizable leap upwards in next week’s rankings.
Yahoo Sports - #8
“The Chargers put on a good showing in overcoming some tough calls and taking down Washington on the road.” - Barry Werner
NFL.com - #11
“Justin Herbert was an absolute savage from the pocket when the Chargers needed him most on Sunday. The second-year QB delivered laser strikes for first-down completions of 17, 19, 20 and 9 yards — all of them on pivotal third-down plays — to seal a hard-fought 20-16 win over the Washington Football Team. Herbert wasn’t perfect, committing two turnovers with L.A. in scoring range, but his incredible arm talent, combined with a gutsy self-belief in the opportunities that golden right arm gives him, separates him from so many of his peers. The Chargers, at long last, have a closer.” - Dan Hanzus
Bleacher Report - #11
“The Los Angeles Chargers are looking build on Justin Herbert’s Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign and turn stats into wins. To do so, they needed to start notching wins on the road over quality opponents.”
“They did just that Sunday, coming back to down the reigning NFC East champions in Washington.”
“With the Chargers’ ground game struggling (and lead back Austin Ekeler nursing a hamstring injury), it fell to Herbert to carry the offense. He wound up finishing 31-of-47 for 331 yards and a touchdown.” - NFL Staff
USA Today - #13
“Pretty impressive 16-game start (4,673 passing yards and 32 TDs) for QB Justin Herbert ... and he’s even winning close games now!” - Nate Davis
Sporting News - #13
“It was a grind for Justin Herbert and the entire offense as expected facing Washington’s solid all-around defense. But the Chargers got the job done in clutch moments with Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and others. Brandon Staley proved he was the real deal early as their head coach with the great immediate influence on the other L.A. D.” - Vinnie Iyer
ESPN - #14
“The 13th overall pick in April’s draft stood his ground against Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young in the Chargers’ 20-16 win over Washington. QB Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards and Slater ranked 20th among tackles in pass block win rate. It was a solid performance for a guy who had not played in a year after he opted out of his last season at Northwestern.” — Shelley Smith
Pro Football Network - #14
“Justin Herbert looked as advertised in Week 1, even against one of the most well-respected defensive units in the NFL. They struggled to run the football, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. Regardless, Washington has an incredibly talented defensive roster.
Los Angeles faces the Cowboys next week, so both their passing and rushing attacks should have better days.” - Dalton Miller
CBS Sports - #15
“Winning on the road on the East Coast to open the season is a good look. The defense looked much improved from a year ago.” - Pete Prisco
Washington Post - #15
“Second-year QB Justin Herbert is the real deal. That was evident throughout his record-setting rookie season, and it was on display again Sunday at FedEx Field. The Chargers aren’t about to break into the AFC’s upper tier, but they could be a factor in the playoff race.” - Mark Maske