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Chargers Power Rankings Roundup: Bolts trending up after besting Browns

Back-to-back road wins will always help a team’s stature within any rankings.

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers stacked a pair of road wins together the past two weeks and that effort will has certainly been reflected in this week’s power rankings roundup. However, some media pundits aren’t buying the wins nearly as much as others. In the group of rankings below you’ll notice some still believe the Chargers are a middling team while others have the Bolts firmly entrenched as a top-10 club up to this point in the season.

If the Chargers can take advantage of the next two games and enter their bye week at 5-2, that’d go a long way in providing confidence and some breathing room as they traverse the second half of their season.

Let’s go ahead and check out where the Chargers landed across this week’s power rankings roundup.

The Ringer - #7

“The Chargers defense, which ranks 28th in defensive EPA per play through Week 5, is still a massive concern—could playing the woeful Broncos offense on Monday Night Football be a get-right game?—but Justin Herbert and the offense continue to thrive through numerous injuries. Herbert ranks sixth in EPA per dropback, and running back Austin Ekeler has stepped up in a big way, scoring five touchdowns in the past two weeks while ranking second in EPA per rush and yards per carry since Week 4.” - Austin Gayle

Pro Football Network - #7

“The Chargers are probably a pretty good team with an elite QB, but their offense makes me want to punt random objects laying around the house straight out of my sliding doors and into the street.”

“The team’s lack of speed might be part of the reason Joe Lombardi feels the need to run such an offense, but he’s effectively taken a Ferrari LaFerrari and thrown a B-series Honda engine in it. You can mod them and make them powerful if you build and tune things perfectly, but it could also blow up in your face.” - Dalton Miller

Sports Illustrated - #8

“I care not what fourth downs Brandon Staley goes for, as long as he keeps the spirit alive. Austin Ekeler has run for 233 yards and three touchdowns in the last two weeks. The Chargers are slowly creeping up the board in terms of opponent rushing success rate. Staley’s vision for this team has been crystal clear; the spotty execution is slowly ironing itself out.” - Conor Orr

Yahoo Sports - #8

“The Chargers downed the Browns despite a questionable call from their head coach. There are going to be discussions and dissections regarding Brandon Staley until he gets it through his head that analytics are not everything. Next: vs. Denver Broncos” - Barry Werner

New York Post - #8

“Austin Ekeler rushed for a career-high 173 yards and two touchdowns to take some pressure off of quarterback Justin Herbert and erase a 14-point deficit. And Browns kicker Cade York missed a 54-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to take some pressure off of Chargers coach Brandon Staley, who made some unconventional management decisions in the 30-28 win.” - Ryan Dunleavy

The Athletic - #9

“The more deep speed we can give to Justin Herbert, the better for the NFL fan. Through five games, Herbert has only attempted 11 passes of 25 air yards or more, tied for 15th in the league. Constraining the offense for the quarterback with the strongest arm in the league seems a little backward. Jason La Canfora reported Monday the Panthers would be willing to eat salary in order to trade Anderson, who has 13 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown through five games.” - Bo Wulf

ESPN - #10

“The Chargers have suffered several significant injuries to key players. Left tackle Rashawn Slater (biceps) was placed on injured reserve, so the Bolts have turned to rookie sixth-round pick Jamaree Salyer at the spot. On the edge, Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa were supposed to form one of the top pass-rushing duos, but Bosa is on injured reserve indefinitely (groin), so a committee of guys is stepping in — including second-year pro Chris Rumph II and veteran Kyle Van Noy. And finally, receiver Keenan Allen has been dealing with a hamstring injury since Week 1, has missed four consecutive games and there’s a cloud of uncertainty when he’ll return. How young players perform while filling in at key spots will be crucial to making a playoff run.” - Lindsey Thiry

Sporting News - #10

“Austin Ekeler has been the catalyst they need to spark a shorthanded passing game around Justin Herbert with elite, explosive running. The defense needs that big break, too, with key missing pieces Joey Bosa and Kenneth Murray.” - Vinnie Iyer

*Kenneth Murray is healthy and not missing - #12

“Brandon Staley owes Cade York a beer. York pushed his 54-yard field-goal attempt wide right in the final seconds, allowing the Chargers to escape Cleveland with a 30-28 win. Minutes earlier — in a decision that was gutsy at best and reckless at worst — Staley opted to keep his offense on the field on fourth-and-1 at his own 46-yard line with just over a minute to play. When Justin Herbert’s subsequent pass fell incomplete, the Browns looked like a team given an early Christmas gift by the opposing head coach. But credit the Los Angeles defense, which stood strong and forced the long field-goal attempt. ‘So glad he missed that,’ tweeted Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, inactive with a hamstring injury. ‘Cause man, man, man.’” - Dan Hanzus

USA Today - #13

“What happens when Brandon Staley’s ridiculous use of analytics collides with the inept game management of Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett? You get to find out with the rest of the country next Monday night.” - Nate Davis

Pro Football Talk - #15

“They need to come up with a word to reflect trying to lose but still winning.” - Mike Florio