The Chargers dropped their second game in as many weeks, yet somehow aren’t seeing as much downward movement as you would expect for a team that fell down to .500 in a blink.
However, the loss against the 49ers looks even better following their blowout win over the Cardinals and the Chiefs are arguably the best team in the NFL as of week 12. So it’s easy to see why this team isn’t getting docked so hard despite the back-to-back losses.
With two games upcoming against the 4-7 Cards and the 3-7 Raiders, the Bolts could easily make up those two losses before heading to face a Dolphins team currently holding a notable 7-3 record.
Let’s go ahead and check out how the Bolts shook out in this week’s roundup.
Sports Illustrated - #12
“While this was a disappointing loss, the Chargers can say they resembled a professional-looking offense for the first time in months. It was only their inability to cover crossing routes deep in their territory that doomed them against the Chiefs. Still, this is a 5–5 team with upside, at least from where I’m sitting. I am moving the Chargers up for what I’ll deem a quality loss. They could be (like many of the best teams from a year ago) making their move a bit later in the season.” - Conor Orr
The Athletic - #15
“The Chargers looked better with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams back on the field, but better wasn’t good enough against one of the league’s best teams. Only two of the Chargers’ remaining opponents have a winning record and they’re done seeing Mahomes for the year.” - Bo Wulf
Bleacher Report - #15
“This was the year the Los Angeles Chargers were finally going to get over the hump. The talent was there on both sides of the ball. So was the franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. This was the season it was finally going to come together.”
“Instead, this season is starting look a lot like so many in the Chargers’ past. After a soul-crushing loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night, the Bolts are a .500 team on the outside of the playoffs looking in. And as Sobleski noted, the reason is depressingly familiar to Chargers fans.”
“‘All of the hope instilled in the Chargers this season appears to have been naught,’ he said. ‘They’re banged up all over the lineup again. The defense is still soft at the point of attack. Quarterback Justin Herbert can only do so much himself. Thus, they’re a .500 team with a 5-5 record.’”
“Coming into this season, Los Angeles looked like a potential Super Bowl contender. The Chargers had the hotshot quarterback. The organization went out and acquired the likes of Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson and Gerald Everett. Two of those didn’t even play Sunday against the rival Kansas City Chiefs. In the end, Patrick Mahomes’ squad looked like a superior collegiate team that bided its time until the top talents took over to win the game—which is exactly what happened. At this point, the Chiefs own a three-game lead in the AFC West, and the Chargers are just trying to get their head above water to make a run at a wild-card playoff spot.” - NFL Staff
Yahoo Sports - #17
“The Chargers really needed to close out that win on Sunday night. With a win, they’d have been one game behind the Chiefs with a lot of games to play. Now the AFC West race is all but done and the .500 Chargers are in a glut of AFC teams battling for three wild-card spots. The final minute Sunday changed the Chargers’ entire season.” - Frank Schwab
ESPN - #17
“The Chargers are allowing an average of 5.5 yards per carry, which is worst in the league. Yes, they’re thin up front, with injuries to edge rusher Joey Bosa and linemen Austin Johnson, Otito Ogbonnia and Christian Covington, but it’s inexplicable how poorly they have stopped the run. Coach Brandon Staley has often blamed their inability to stop explosive runs, which is true. The Chargers have allowed among the most runs of more than 40 yards and 50 yards this season, but now entering Week 12, it is a problem they must correct.” - Lindsey Thiry
NFL.com - #17
“Another heartbreaker for the Bolts. Brandon Staley’s team went toe-to-toe with the mighty Chiefs for four quarters on Sunday Night Football, but they couldn’t solve the eternal Patrick Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce conundrum in a 30-27 loss that effectively puts the AFC West division race to bed. Keenan Allen finally looked like his old self in his return to the lineup, but Mike Williams’ own return was short-lived due to more ankle issues. There’s a really compelling AFC contender hidden away within the Chargers ... we know this. But time is running out to bring that side of the team to the forefront.” - Dan Hanzus
The Ringer - #17
“The margin for error is all but gone for the Chargers after losing to the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. FiveThirtyEight gives them just a 31 percent chance to make the playoffs as they prepare for a road matchup with the Cardinals on Sunday and then visit the Raiders in Week 13. There’s no questioning Justin Herbert’s brilliance, especially after his effort against Kansas City, but there will be questions surrounding head coach Brandon Staley, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and the rest of the Los Angeles coaching staff if the team misses the playoffs again.” - Austin Gayle
USA Today - #17
“Injuries aren’t their only problem. The Bolts are allowing a league-worst 5.5 yards per rush, on track to be the most in the league since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.” - Nate Davis
Sporting News - #17
“The Chargers keep playing their best offense with a constantly depleting defense but it just hasn’t been enough to push high above .500 yet with two straight tough Sunday night losses. Justin Herbert will need to carry them as much as possible into the playoffs.” - Vinnie Iyer
Pro Football Talk - #18
“Yes, it’s always something.” - Mike Florio