The regular season is officially a little over 24 HOURS AWAY! Like what? Holy cow, it’s really here.
With the arrival of the NFL season comes the debut of weekly power rankings from across the media landscape. Just as often as you’ll see them posted on their respective sites, I’ll have a roundup post like this up each week to give you all a fairly clear idea of the consensus feelings towards the Chargers as each game goes by.
In this week’s opening round of rankings, the Chargers see one publication tab them as a top-10 team while another has them all the way down at number 20. So it looks like there’s plenty of variance right now when it comes to the confidence level of the Bolts in their first year under Brandon Staley.
Go ahead and check out the rankings below and be sure to let me know which ones are correct and which ones are flat-out crazy.
Sporting News - #9
“Don’t sleep on the other team in L.A., now coached by Staley. He will have a big influence in getting the defense to perform up to its talent level with Joey Bosa as the centerpiece. The other side is just as promising with Justin Herbert in Year 2 with fine weapons and an offense that might be better suited to him.” - Vinnie Iyer
The Athletic - #11
“Why they’re ranked here: The Herbert Hype is real. The Chargers climbed two spots, from No. 13 to No. 11, since our pre-training camp Power Rankings. We have a few theories, but the most logical one is Justin Herbert and the building excitement about what the 2020 offensive rookie of the year will do in Year 2. (It’s also possible that questions with other teams in this range, notably the Colts, boosted the Chargers.)”
“One big question: Can they stay healthy? The Chargers made it through the preseason without a major season-ending injury (please, please, please don’t let this be a jinx), so we’re cautiously optimistic. We’re most excited to see a healthy Derwin James, who has played in only five games since his standout rookie season in 2018.” - Lindsay Jones and Chad Graff
USA Today - #12
“They didn’t show much in preseason, yet new coach Brandon Staley’s cautious approach also prevented the Bolts from suffering the catastrophic injury that typically befalls them. Still, a new staff and schemes could mean slow start with Washington, Dallas and K.C. on September lineup.” - Nate Davis
NFL.com - #12
“On a recent Around The NFL Podcast, I listed the Chargers as a winner of the training camp/preseason portion of the calendar for the simple fact that they got out of the summer without losing any of their stars to a major injury. Real Bolts fans know roster health should never be assumed, but first-year coach Brandon Staley managed to break camp with a talented roster locked and loaded for Week 1 against Washington. The team also made an attempt to address its epic special teams woes by parting ways with kicker Michael Badgley in favor of Tristan Vizcaino, who has one game of NFL regular season experience. Sometimes you have to cash out on the Money Badger.” - Dan Hanzus
Bleacher Report - #15
“After an impressive rookie season from Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, expectations are high for the Chargers in Brandon Staley’s first year as head coach. As Robert Mays wrote for the Athletic, Staley and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi have made a concerted effort to craft the team’s offense around their young quarterback.”
“Herbert has talent around him, and the offensive line should be improved with the addition of veteran center Corey Linsley and rookie tackle Rashawn Slater. If Joey Bosa, Kenneth Murray and the Chargers defense can hold their own as well, the Bolts could at least be a factor in the wild-card race in the AFC.” - NFL Staff
CBS Sports - #20
“I don’t see a sophomore slump for Justin Herbert, which means the offense will be explosive behind an improved offensive line. The defense gets back Derwin James, which will help that side grow.” - Pete Prisco