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Chargers Power Rankings Roundup: Bolts barely hanging around in top half of NFL

The Bolts limped into the NFL but still cling to a record above .500.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers were on their way to solidifying themselves as a top-10 team heading into the bye week. Another blowout loss at home to a team with a worse record now has them lucky to get near the 10th spot on a set of power rankings.

Still, analysts are torn. Some still have the team as high as #10 while others have them as low as #16, barely inside the top half of the league.

Let’s go ahead and see how things shook out after a tough loss to the Seahawks.

The Ringer - #10

“Joe Lombardi’s offense is failing to create open throws downfield for Justin Herbert. Brandon Staley’s defense still can’t stop the run. Cornerback J.C. Jackson suffered a season-ending injury against Seattle, and top wideout Mike Williams is expected to miss “weeks” with an ankle injury. Yet the Chargers are still 4-3 and priced at -150 to make the playoffs through Sunday’s games, per FanDuel.”

“Lombardi, Staley, Herbert, everyone else involved needs to perform better if they’re going to live up to the preseason hype, and some of the errors are fixable. Herbert is a top-10 quarterback in EPA per attempt on throws of 10 or more air yards; Lombardi and the offense needs to get more creative, specifically on early downs. No offense has played more third downs than the Chargers through Week 7 (106), and Herbert’s average depth of target on early downs is the lowest in the league (5.17).” - Austin Gayle

Sporting News - #12

“The Chargers cannot catch many breaks with injuries, losing Mike Williams as soon as Keenan Allen returned. Justin Herbert hasn’t been right with different key pieces out around him at different times. The defense also has been gutted and is not living up to the expectations vs. the pass and keeps wiling vs. the run.” - Vinnie Iyer

CBS Sports - #13

“They are among the biggest disappointments so far this season. Where is the explosive offense? The run defense is brutal at 5.7 yards per carry allowed.” - Pete Prisco

Yahoo Sports - #14

“Cornerback J.C. Jackson, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal in the offseason, is done for the year with a knee injury. Receiver Mike Williams has a high ankle sprain, and those can linger all season. The Chargers’ injuries are probably going to derail their season.” - Frank Schwab

Bleacher Report - #14

“Here we go again with the Los Angeles Chargers. Just when it appears the Chargers are ready to take their spot among legitimate Super Bowl contenders, the team lays an egg. This time, it was a sloppy effort against the Seattle Seahawks in which the Bolts surrendered 404 yards of offense, committed a pair of costly early turnovers and converted just five of 15 third-down attempts.”

“After the loss, head coach Brandon Staley told reporters that the team’s first-quarter miscues (a failed fourth-down attempt and two turnovers, all of which Seattle converted into points) were just too much for the Chargers to overcome.”

“‘We were able to fight our way back and get back into the game, but there’s a lot of energy that goes with that. Then, we just didn’t play a clean enough second half in any phase to create any momentum and to get the lead back,’ Staley said. ‘Just didn’t play well enough today in any phase.’”

“Coupled with Kansas City’s impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Chargers head into the bye in an all-too-familiar position: staring up at the Chiefs in the AFC West. And with cornerback J.C. Jackson (who will miss the rest of the season) and wide receiver Mike Williams joining a seemingly ever-growing list of key Chargers with injuries, the team badly needs that off week to try to get healthy ahead of a second-half push.”

USA Today - #15

“The bye comes a week too late for LA’s other team, the Bolts likely losing WR Mike Williams (ankle) for weeks and CB J.C. Jackson (knee) for the rest of the season.” - Nate Davis

Pro Football Network - #15

“I wrote about the Chargers’ biggest issue on offense this week, and then spent another week again watching their lack of speed hinder their offensive firepower. We’ve seen Joe Douglas and the Jets’ front office practically hold Denzel Mims hostage now for multiple years, so I doubt the Chargers could put anything together to rip him away from New York, but they need to look somewhere.”

“Brandon Staley came to Los Angeles as a defensive guru, but his defenses have been more underwhelming than beans on toast. Despite investing heavily in their defensive front, they still can’t stop the run.” - Dalton Miller

Sports Illustrated - #15

“Speaking of major disappointments, Justin Herbert being 19th in completion percentage over expectation plus expected points added per snap is inexcusable. I understand that offenses have their limitations, but I also think that some coaches allow themselves to be boxed in by those limitations. Andy Dalton having more play-per-play inefficiency is a horrible look.” - Conor Orr

ESPN - #15

“The Chargers invested in their defense over the offseason in attempt to keep opponents out of the end zone. The changes, which included supposed upgrades on the edge, interior and secondary, have so far yielded similar results as 2021. The Bolts have allowed an average of 27 points per game, which ranks 30th in the NFL. Injuries, including Joey Bosa being placed on injured reserve following Week 3, have played a role in the defense’s inefficiencies. However, if the Chargers want to realize a goal of earning their first playoff trip since 2018, they must quickly figure out a way to come together. ‘It’s a sense of urgency for everyone,’ defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day said. ‘Not just the players, but also the urgency the coaches put on the players. Once we do all that, then it’s all going to get figured out.’” - Lindsey Thiry - #16

“The familiar funk of disappointment is encircling the Chargers once again. The Seahawks came to SoFi Stadium and dropped a hammer on the hosts, attacking L.A. on the ground and through the air in a 37-23 blowout. The game was costly from a health standpoint, as well: Mike Williams is facing a multi-week absence after suffering a high ankle sprain, while J.C. Jackson’s cursed debut season with the Bolts is over after he suffered a serious knee injury. Throw in some curiously uninspired play from Justin Herbert (4.9 yards per attempt in his past 108 attempts), and Brandon Staley has a lot of work to do during the Week 8 bye.” - Dan Hanzus