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Chargers Power Rankings Roundup: Bolts bounce back near top 10 after win over Dolphins

Another win over the Titans this week could thrust the Chargers back into the “contenders” conversation.

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After topping the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football, the Chargers earned a nice bump in this week’s power rankings roundup, with more than one publication even putting the Bolts back within the top 10!

However, some other media members stayed pat with their rankings and are continuing to rank the Chargers near the middle of the league, refusing to take much stock in their latest — yet convincing — victory over the Dolphins.

Let’s go ahead and dive right in, shall we? Here is this week’s power rankings roundup as of week 15. - #9

“You couldn’t draw up a more rewarding win for head coach Brandon Staley. The Chargers’ shorthanded defense befuddled Mike McDaniel’s potent Dolphins attack, while Justin Herbert played at the peak of his powers in a 23-17 win that moved Los Angeles into playoff position with four games remaining. Herbert thoroughly outplayed Tua Tagovailoa, hitting on a collection of absurd throws that showed off his elite arm strength and accuracy. He also benefited greatly from the return of Mike Williams, his big-play wideout who dominated on the outside. Said a beaming Staley when it was over: ‘It was an incredible team win.’” - Dan Hanzus

Sporting News - #10

“The Chargers bolted up here for rebounding well from their tough loss to the Raiders by proving what Justin Herbert can still do to push a team into the playoffs with all of his key weapons healthy. The defense will hope to get some key reinforcements back soon, too.” - Vinnie Iyer

ESPN - #10

“The Chargers have underperformed this season on offense and defense. It’s easy to point to a significant number of injuries, despite the Bolts saying weekly that it’s not an excuse. But it cannot be overlooked. Quarterback Justin Herbert played multiple games despite feeling the effect of fractured rib cartilage. The offense has often utilized a makeshift line. And Week 14’s game was the first this season that both wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were available from start to finish. On defense, the Bolts have been without edge rusher Joey Bosa, cornerback J.C. Jackson and several key defensive linemen — all of whom are on injured reserve.” - Lindsey Thiry

USA Today - #11

“QB Justin Herbert’s 13,056 career passing yards are the most ever in a player’s first three NFL seasons. With WR Mike Williams back, good bet he reaches 14,000 yards and 100 TD passes before Year No. 3 is completely in the books.” - Nate Davis

The Athletic - #12

“The Chargers are coming off their best performance of the year, a game in which they finally showed the upside so many thought they had before the season. Herbert aside, it was also a proof-of-concept game for Brandon Staley, who put together a game plan to slow down the Dolphins’ offense while missing six defensive starters.” - Bo Wulf

The Ringer - #12

“Justin Herbert was the star of Sunday Night Football. Despite playing behind an injury-plagued offensive line, with a slow-moving receiving corps and for a conservative, screen-obsessed offensive play caller, Herbert continued to prove why he’s one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL with his performance against the Dolphins. That’s not up for debate.” - Austin Gayle

CBS Sports - #12

“That was a season-saving victory against Miami. It’s nice to see the passing game finally take some shots down the field.” - Pete Prisco

Yahoo Sports - #13

“Another week in which the Chargers had the biggest change in their playoff odds at Football Outsiders. After beating the Dolphins, they have a 46.6% chance to make it heading into the Patriots-Cardinals game on Monday night. That’s a 21.3% improvement from last week, the biggest shift in the NFL. The Chargers, and particularly head coach Brandon Staley and quarterback Justin Herbert, need to take advantage and make it to the playoffs.” - Frank Schwab

Pro Football Talk - #14

“It can become fun, if it lasts.” - Mike Florio

Pro Football Network - #15

“The Los Angeles Chargers are 15th in the NFL Power Rankings, but they had been playing worse than their ranking and record suggested. Their highly-paid defense hasn’t yet materialized into a competent unit, and as only the Chargers can do, they’re endlessly injured.”

“Brandon Staley and Joe Lombardi needed answers immediately if they want to see another season in sunny LA. A win against Miami goes a long way toward that goal. The Chargers were looking like a legitimate bottom-10 team in the NFL over the past month or so, losing four of their last six games before their win at home against Miami.”

“Justin Herbert shredded the Dolphins’ defense — if they can keep up this offensive firepower headed into the home stretch of the season, they’ll quiet a lot of their doubters.” - Dalton Miller