Saturday, January 1, 2022

Los Angeles Chargers Week 17 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Los Angeles Chargers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 14.4 (13th)
  • Best ranking: 12 (CBS Sports)
  • Worst ranking: 16 (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Chargers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

Non-QB MVP: S Derwin James Jr.

James is by far the defensive MVP for this team. He didn't play in Sunday's loss to Houston and missed the end of the Week 15 overtime loss to the Chiefs due to a hamstring issue -- highlighting how much the Chargers' defense relies on him. Until then, he had 103 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. And even while injured, he stood on the sideline and helped with the playcalling. Coaches say there's nobody like him in the NFL, and the Chargers need him back for their final two regular-season games if they are going to make a serious playoff push. -- Shelley Smith -- Rank: 14

COVID-19 came for the Chargers hard in Week 16, sending the team into Houston without star running back Austin Ekeler, No. 2 wideout Mike Williams and Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa. Even so, the results of Sunday's action -- a 41-29 loss to the previously 3-11 Texans -- is hard to qualify as anything other than bitter disappointment. Run defense continues to be a major issue: Los Angeles surrendered 189 yards on the ground, while three turnovers -- two picks by Justin Herbert and a killer fumble by Justin Jackson -- acted as the recipe for an upset. The season is on the line on Sunday against the Broncos.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

Losing on the road to the Texans is inexcusable. It doesn't matter how many guys sat out with COVID. They play playoff-like games the next two weeks.

USA Today -- Rank: 15

If their season is ultimately ruined by Davis Mills and Rex Burkhead -- or generally by a defense that's given up more points than anyone else aside from the Jets -- it's worth asking how much progress Bolts have really made.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Is he The Guy? I don't know how you lose to the Texans, but I guess we can put that on the Chargers defense and not young Justin Herbert. So, yes. Herbert looks great at times, though not as often as one would think given all the attention he receives. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler are an elite core, and the ceiling is definitely sky high for the strong-armed Herbert.

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