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Chargers Power Rankings Roundup: Bolts tumble to NFL’s basement after loss to Broncos

The Chargers are seemingly just trying to get by from here on out after postseason hopes all but come to an end.

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NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Yannick Peterhans-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers are now 5-8 with four games remaining. They’re currently on the downward path that seems to come with every third year of the current head coach’s tenure. Mike McCoy had two seasons with a 9-7 record before they plummeted to 4-12. Anthony Lynn had two winning seasons, including a 12-4 campaign in 2018, before crashing down to 5-11 the next year. As things stand, Brandon Staley as gone 9-8 and 10-7 in his first two seasons but now sits at one loss away from clinching a losing record. After the apparent loss of Justin Herbert for the remainder of the season, there’s now a real chance they don’t win another game the rest of the way.

Change is coming. I think that’s all but certain at this point.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at where the Bolts landed this week's power rankings.

ESPN - #25

Mack had little impact generating sacks or pressures through the first three weeks of this season. He had a pass rush win rate at edge of 6.9% in that span, which ranked 53rd in the NFL. Then, in Week 4, Mack exploded for a career-high six sacks against the Raiders. He is now the NFL’s sack leader with 15 on the season, which ties his career high. In a season where the Chargers have fielded one of the league’s worst defenses, Mack has been a bright spot, playing like one of the league’s best outside linebackers since Week 4. — Kris Rhim

Bleacher Report - #25

“The Los Angeles Chargers were already in big trouble. At 5-7, the team’s playoff chances were hanging by a thread.”

“Sunday at SoFi Stadium, that thread snapped.”

“It’s not just that the Chargers got rolled 24-7. The team also lost starting quarterback Justin Herbert to a finger injury.”

“The injury turned out to be a fractured index finger on his throwing hand. With just four games remaining in the season, that sort of injury is probably season-ending. But Herbert told reporters that if there’s a chance he can play, he will.”

“‘It’s something that we’ll know more [about] as the week goes on,’ Herbert said, via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. ‘If there’s any chance to play, I’ll do everything I can to be out there. I’m going to do everything I can in the treatment room to get back to 100 percent. You feel bad for hanging the team out like that. You never want to be taken out of the game.’”

“Herbert’s attitude is commendable. But the Chargers’ postseason hopes are toast. There’s no reason to risk really injuring Herbert’s hand by rolling him out there. And with surgery on tap Tuesday, the odds he plays again in 2023 are slim.”

“At this point, the bigger question may be if Brandon Staley’s tenure as head coach of the Bolts is toast as well.” - BR NFL Staff

Yahoo Sports - #27

“Justin Herbert has a fractured finger and there’s no reason to bring him back this season. The only reason for him to play again would be Brandon Staley trying to save his job, but it’s possible that decision has been made already. This is a lost year for the Chargers and they need to start thinking about next season.” - Frank Schwab

The Athletic - #27

“Along with Mike Evans in Tampa Bay, Allen is leading the way for the old-guy receivers this season. In his 11th year, Allen is third at his position in fantasy points (170.86). His 95.6 yards per game are the highest of his career, and he’s third in the league in target percentage, getting 32 percent of the Chargers’ throws. His only problem is quarterback Justin Herbert might be done for the season with a finger injury suffered Sunday.” - Josh Kendall

Sporting News - #27

“Go figure: The Chargers finally fixed a lot of their Brandon Staley-led defensive issues only to see their offense further crumble because of injuries, with Justin Herbert (finger) being the latest. However it shakes out, they need to move on from Staley after a non-playoff season.” - Vinnie Iyer

Pro Football Talk - #28

“They’re just playing out the string.” - Mike Florio

CBS Sports - #29

“It’s over. Justin Herbert broke a finger, their playoff hopes are done, and change is likely coming at the head-coaching spot.” - Pete Prisco

USA Today - #29

“Did you see JK Scott’s 83-yard punt Sunday, tied for the longest league-wide in the past decade? Yeah, it was the only good thing to happen to the Bolts on a day when QB Justin Herbert wrecked his passing hand.” - Nate Davis