The Chargers were on a bye this week but that didn’t stop them from seeing some movement amongst the plethora of power rankings out there.
A win against the Falcons this week would keep them from falling to .500 on the season at the near-halfway point and that could very well happen with the offense seemingly getting both Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham back from the concussion protocol this week. It also helps that the Falcons own the league’s worst pass defense.
So, yeah. I like this week’s matchup.
But before we get into the game previews for this upcoming Sunday, let’s go ahead and take a look at this week’s roundup and see how much the Chargers moved despite not playing a game this past weekend.
Sporting News - #11
“The Chargers have been ravaged by injuries everywhere but they will be highly competitive for an AFC playoff spot as long as Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler stay healthy. They will hope some offensive and defensive reinforcements can help soon.” - Vinnie Iyer
The Ringer - #11
“Justin Herbert is 19-20 as a starter, but that record is a bigger indictment of the offensive scheme and supporting cast than it is of him. Plagued with injuries and bereft of field-stretching speed, Joe Lombardi’s offense is overtly targeting the underneath areas of the field at a sky-high rate.”
“No quarterback has a lower average depth of target on early downs than Herbert, and as a result the Chargers’ success rate on first and second downs ranks 25th. Lombardi and Herbert need to come out of the bye week with fewer personnel excuses and more positive changes to the offense to get back on track.”
The Athletic - #13
“Fact: One key to the Chargers’ offensive regression thus far: third downs. As Daniel Popper writes: ‘(Justin) Herbert’s EPA/dropback on third down has dropped from 0.29 in 2021 (second in the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes) to 0.00 in 2022 (14th behind Jared Goff, Kenny Pickett and Justin Fields, among others).’” - Bo Wulf
Pro Football Talk - #14
“Post-bye, the Chargers need to start getting more out of Justin Herbert. Otherwise, he may be the only one left next year.” - Mike Florio
Bleacher Report - #14
“NFL teams like to head into the bye week with some positive momentum. It was just the opposite for the Los Angeles Chargers, as last week’s lopsided loss to the Seattle Seahawks was arguably the Bolts’ ugliest game of the year. Linebacker Drue Tranquill told reporters after the setback that it left a bad taste in the team’s mouth to hit the bye with a whimper instead of a bang.”
“‘Whenever you’re a competitor and you lose that way, it leaves a sick feeling in your stomach,’ Tranquill said. ‘And when you know you didn’t play your best and you got to wait two more weeks to go out and play, guys are just going to be biting at the bit to get back out there.’”
“However, while the loss stung, the Chargers needed the time off—because injuries have blasted them on both sides of the ball.”
“No. 1 cornerback J.C. Jackson is out for the season after rupturing his patellar tendon last week. So is left tackle Rashawn Slater. Top wide receiver Keenan Allen has barely played since Week 1 with a hamstring injury. No. 2 wideout Mike Williams is out a month with a high ankle sprain. Quarterback Justin Herbert has been nursing sore ribs for weeks.”
“It’s just been one setback after another for a team that entered 2022 with Super Bowl aspirations.”
“And it’s fair to wonder which setback will be one setback too many.” - NFL Staff
USA Today - #14
“Hopefully the bye week was restful for a team whose only home game over the next five weeks will come against the Chiefs.” - Nate Davis
CBS Sports - #15
“The bye week should have been a time for reflecting on how they’ve limited Justin Herbert way too much. It’s time to set him free.” - Pete Prisco
Yahoo Sports - #15
“The Chargers need a win at Atlanta on Sunday. Their two games after that are at the 49ers and vs. the Chiefs. They could find themselves in a four-game losing streak really fast, especially with their injuries.” - Frank Schwab
NFL.com - #16
“The Chargers had a bye week to figure out how to make their underperforming offense explosive again. Cracking that mystery has been further complicated by the news star wide receiver Mike Williams — L.A.’s best big-play threat — will be out multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain. When you factor in Williams’ absence with Keenan Allen’s season-long odyssey to shake a hamstring issue, it makes sense for Bolts GM Tom Telesco to target a wide receiver ahead of the Tuesday trade deadline. If Telesco stands pat, a playmaker must emerge from within.” - Dan Hanzus
ESPN - #16
“The Chargers have been decimated by injuries. A few, including left tackle Rashawn Slater and cornerback J.C. Jackson, are of the season-ending variety. The Chargers placed defensive end Joey Bosa on injured reserve after he suffered a groin injury in Week 3 that required surgery, but coach Brandon Staley has continued to express optimism that the Pro Bowl edge rusher will return this season. That would be great news for a defense that — despite starring pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Derwin James Jr. — has underachieved this season.” - Lindsey Thiry