Two games into the 2021 season and the Chargers have already played against two talented football teams in Washington and Dallas. In each game, the Bolts were also on the wrong end of an extremely-questionable call by the officials. In week one, the team was able to overcome the situation and squeeze out a 20-16 win. They then found themselves on the other side of the coin when the calls were just too oppressive to bounce back from as they fell 20-16 inside SoFi Stadium.
Understandably so, the Chargers fell in a number of power rankings due to poor play in the red zone and a cascading waterfall of penalties. They didn’t plummet by any means, but those who seemed cautiously optimistic about this team to begin the year are showing signs that they’re not willing to be “had” much longer.
With that said, let’s take a look at this week’s power rankings roundup.
NFL.com - #14
“The Chargers lost to the Cowboys because they couldn’t get out of their own way. Los Angeles committed 12 penalties for 99 yards, with two of those infractions negating touchdowns. Some of the penalties could charitably be defined as borderline, but legitimate contenders find a way to rise above these challenges, and the Bolts aren’t there — at least not yet. Justin Herbert wasn’t immune to mistakes, either. The second-year quarterback threw a pair of interceptions, but he also made a number of brilliant throws that keep the arrow up on his young career.” - Dan Hanzus
Sporting News - #14
“The Chargers have shown much-improved defense with Brandon Staley, but their linebacker and smallish front concerns showed up against the Cowboys’ running backs. Justin Herbert is doing his best to sophomore shine in the offense, but there are a few frustrating mistakes coming in the transition period.” - Vinnie Iyer
Pro Football Network - #15
“The Chargers’ offense moved the ball at will against the Dallas Cowboys, but some costly turnovers proved to be the difference. Justin Herbert is supremely talented, but in Week 2, he threw an interception in the red zone and took a bad sack that made another red zone touchdown incredibly unlikely.”
“They were 1-4 in the red zone, making any win far more difficult to achieve.” - Dalton Miller
Yahoo Sports - #17
“Justin Herbert is still a young quarterback, something that gets forgotten because he has been so good. His two interceptions came in Cowboys territory, including one into the end zone. You’re not going to make those mistakes and win in the NFL, and the picks cost the Chargers a shot at what would have been a nice win.” - Frank Schwab
CBS Sports - #18
“They just didn’t do enough on offense against a depleted Cowboys defense last week. The penalties also killed them.” - Pete Prisco
ESPN - #18
“His spot on the team was in question in training camp, and he doesn’t have much value now, but Jackson is a good player to keep on your radar if Austin Ekeler gets hurt again. Jackson had four carries for 21 yards against the Cowboys in Week 2, and he has performed when called upon in the past, so he could be worth stashing as a handcuff.” - Shelley Smith
USA Today - #18
“Penalties (12 on Sunday), turnovers (2), screwy luck, gut-wrenching defeats – let’s not expect rookie head coach Brandon Staley to change this organization’s culture and history overnight.” - Nate Davis