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Chargers Week 18 Power Rankings Roundup

Did a big win over the Broncos give the Bolts a bump this week?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers rebounded from a bad loss to the Texans with a 34-13 smacking of the Broncos. A win was a necessity as it kept their playoff hopes alive for another week which makes this coming Sunday night game a “win and in” contest for both them and the Raiders (9-7).

Despite the lopsided victory at home, the Chargers did not see a ton of movement in this week’s power rankings roundup. Maybe they were bumped up a spot or two, but overall, movement was few and far in between.

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

Sporting News - #11

“The Chargers cleaned up their messes from the Texans disaster with utter domination in Denver. As it should be, it’s them against the Raiders for a playoff spot behind the Chiefs. They are more dangerous than Las Vegas because of Justin Herbert.” - Vinnie Iyer

Pro Football Network - #11

“The Chargers were incredibly efficient on offense against the Denver Broncos. They got a few big plays on the strength of Justin Herbert’s right arm, but they did a fantastic job sustaining drives.”

“In fact, they had drives of 14, 11, and 14 plays in the game, keeping the ball in the hands of their offense. More importantly, LA kept their underwhelming defense off the field. However, the Chargers’ defense was stout against the run for once, which was a recipe for disaster for the Broncos, who really wanted to lean on the ground game.” - Dalton Miller

Bleacher Report - #12

“Win and in. That’s the edict for the Los Angeles Chargers now.”

“After walloping the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Chargers are 9-7 and control their destiny. Notch a win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18, and it’s on to the playoffs.”

“After losing in stunning fashion to the Houston Texans the week before, head coach Brandon Staley told reporters that the Bolts got back on track by treating the Denver game as a season unto itself.”

“‘Each week has a life of its own in the NFL. It’s having a life of its own since the beginning, and that’s the way we need to treat things around here,” Staley said. “And the more, the longer that we’re here, the more people will realize that every week is going to feel like this coming week.’”

“The game also featured some history for Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert became the fastest player to reach 800 career completions (31 games) and at 23 years, 298 days became the second-youngest player in league history to get to 65 TD passes. He also set a new Chargers single-season record with 35 touchdown passes.”

“But none of that will matter if the Chargers can’t get past their AFC West rivals next week and into the playoffs.” - NFL Staff

NFL.com - #13

“The Chargers took care of business against an undermanned Broncos team. Now, it’s all in front of them. Beat the Raiders on Sunday night in Vegas and the Chargers will be back in the playoffs for the first time in three years. Fatalistic Bolts fans might feel like a primetime win-and-in showcase sets up for more heartbreak for this star-crossed franchise. This is understandable given the history, but L.A. should enter that game with the deeper team and — most importantly — the superior quarterback. It’s time to ride Justin Herbert to the tournament.” - Dan Hanzus

Pro Football Talk - #14

“It shouldn’t be coming down to win and in for the Chargers.” - Mike Florio

Sports Illustrated - #14

“A win and in opportunity for Brandon Staley in his first year may come to define our confidence long term in the young head coach. Staley has been responsible for some of our favorite coaching moments this year, though his inability to patch up a thin rushing defense has left the Chargers vulnerable down the stretch.” - Conor Orr

The Ringer - #14

ESPN - #15

“I know Herbert is in the second year of his rookie contract and rules are rules, but his base salary this year is $1,818,125. He certainly won’t starve and will get paid big time in his second contract, but still. It seems low for a QB with a shot of leading his team to its first playoff berth since 2009, who made the Pro Bowl, just set a franchise record for TD passes at 35 (besting Dan Fouts and Philip Rivers) and is being paid far below players who have done far less: Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott. Herbert has proven himself.” - Shelley Smith

*The Chargers last made the playoffs in 2018

Yahoo Sports - #19

“The Chargers flirt with taking the next step, but the win over Denver still leaves a lot of work in Week 18. They’ll need to take care of the Raiders for a chance to earn a wild-card spot. Next: at Las Vegas Raiders” - Barry Werner