The Chargers’ performance against the Chiefs in Week Seven was eerily similar to their outing against the Cowboys a week before. The offense went toe-to-toe with the opponent for one half but fell behind just before the midway break. In the second half, they struggled to find much, if at all any, momentum in the second half and wound up losing despite having ample chances to take the lead.
Their 31-17 loss was the first this year by more than one score. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong kind of progress.
The Chargers are now 2-4 through the first seven weeks of the season and that record is even further reflected in this week’s power rankings roundup.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at where the Bolts landed this week.
Yahoo Sports - #17
“Last season, Justin Herbert had a 101.3 passer rating in the first halves of games, and 85.5 in the second half (also 50.3 in overtime). This season, Herbert has a 110.4 rating in the first half, 84.1 in the second half and went 0-for-3 in his only overtime appearance. The Chargers had a chance to beat the Chiefs on Sunday but the offense totally stalled in the second half. Herbert mostly gets a pass from criticism but the truth is he has to come up bigger late in games, particularly close ones. Every other quarterback is held to that standard.” - Frank Schwab
CBS Sports - #18
“At 3-4, the heat has to be on Brandon Staley. The offense hasn’t improved that much with Kellen Moore, and Justin Herbert is turning it over too much.” - Pete Prisco
Sports Illustrated - #18
“This Chargers team was playing the Chiefs, and so this criticism may feel a little unnaturally harsh. But, they often fail to handle attrition and it seems a lot of their breakdowns are ones in which they simply don’t have enough resilience. This was the best the team had looked in a while through most of three quarters and the backside running game was picking up some gashes. Then, a tipped pick in the red zone. On the following drive, Patrick Mahomes converts a third-and-15 against a picket fence defense. On the next Chargers offensive possession, Justin Herbert almost throws a pick. Over their last three games, the Chargers have averaged 3.3 points per game in the second half.” - Conor Orr
ESPN - #18
“The Chargers second-round pick turned 21 last month and has been one of the team’s most consistent players. He has the fourth-most quarterback pressures (16) amongst rookies and had 10 in Week 3 — the second most a rookie has had in a game since 2016, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. ‘Is he ahead of schedule?’ Coach Brandon Staley said. ‘I think he’s on schedule. I think he’s right on schedule. This guy, we had a strong feeling about this guy in the springtime.’” - Kris Rhim
Bleacher Report - #19
“There’s trouble brewing in La-La Land.”
“The Los Angeles Chargers entered 2023 with aspirations of a deep playoff run. But after losing yet again to the rival Chiefs, the Bolts are a 2-4 team in danger of letting the season get away from them.”
“Despite this latest setback, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert told reporters that the team isn’t about to hit the panic button:
‘It hasn’t gone our way the past couple of games, but no one’s going to panic, no one’s going to quit, no one’s going to give up. I know we’re going to attack practice this week the same way we have each of the past weeks. So I’m looking for the challenge, the opportunity. A tough week, but we’re going to get better because of it.’”
“Frankly, maybe they should. The Chargers have been terrible defensively, allowing a whopping 333 yards in the first half alone against Kansas City. When the defense finally did stiffen, Herbert collapsed, completing less than half his passes and throwing two picks in the second half.”
“The Chargers are three games back and all but out of it in the AFC West. At this point, they will need to rally just to get into the wild-card conversation. And this week’s Sunday night affair against the two-win Bears has gone from cakewalk to critical.” - BR NFL Staff
The Athletic - #23
“Hear us out. The Chargers have lost to only one team with a losing record. Three of their four losses came against the Dolphins, Cowboys and Chiefs, and only Sunday’s loss came by more than three points. Justin Herbert is getting a lot of heat lately, but he’s ninth in the league in passer rating (97.1) and sixth in yards per attempt (7.5). We haven’t given up on the Chargers just yet.” - Josh Kendall
Sporting News - #24
“The Chargers cannot put everything together under Brandon Staley and Kellen Moore. When they get the running game and run defense working, the passing game with Justin Herbert and pass defense let down. Staley needs every win he can get now to last until 2024 leading L.A.” - Vinnie Iyer