Saturday, September 10, 2022

Los Angeles Chargers Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Los Angeles Chargers in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 8

Who's on the hot seat: DL Jerry Tillery

The 2019 No. 28 overall pick has yet to establish himself as an impact player, leading the Chargers to decline the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Tillery, 25, is now fighting for a roster spot after the Chargers upgraded their defensive front during the offseason, signing Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson and Morgan Fox. As for how hot Tillery's seat is entering this season? Consider this: Coach Brandon Staley is electing to sit most starters during the preseason, playing only those who could use game experience in their role or who are in a position competition. Tillery was a preseason starter. -- Rank: 9

Will Justin Herbert win MVP? In two seasons, Herbert has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting and productive quarterbacks in pro football. Now, with a strong supporting cast on both sides of the ball, this feels like the time where Herbert rampages through a season and enters the conversation as the best player in the sport. This is the Chargers we're talking about, of course -- nothing ever seems to work out as it was planned in the summer. But Herbert is flat-out special, and he has the potential to be the difference-maker in a loaded AFC West.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 9

Getting Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson in free agency will make this defense so much better. The offense with Justin Herbert will again be dynamic. Let's hope Brandon Staley learned from some of his fourth-down shenanigans last season.

The Athletic -- Rank: 5

The good news: Justin Herbert practically guarantees a top-five offense, while his rookie contract allowed the team to spend big on defense to improve the No. 26 unit by DVOA. Meanwhile, Brandon Staley's commitment to proper in-game decision-making should pay off over the long run. If you're a fan of process, the Chargers are for you.

The bad news: Staley might be supplanted by Mike McDaniel this season as the head coach whose news conference clips circulate on social media as "honestly so important you need to stop what you're doing and watch this right now."

Nugget to remember: Herbert and Joe Burrow are either a historic tandem or an indication that quarterbacks can be great quicker than ever. Herbert has the most passing yards (9,350, blowing away Andrew Luck's 8,196) and touchdowns (69 to Dan Marino's 68) by any quarterback through his first two seasons, while Burrow sports the best completion percentage (68.2) of any quarterback through two years. Herbert needs only 3,608 passing yards and 30 touchdowns to hold both records for the first three years of a quarterback's career.

The Ringer -- Rank: 6

There's something comforting about the Chargers resuming their rightful place as the most hyped team in August. But unlike in past years, these Chargers look ready to back it up. Star quarterback Justin Herbert is the favorite to lead the NFL in passing yards (+500) and all but cemented as a top-five player at his position. With a bunch of new defensive additions to help fix last year's biggest weakness, there are no excuses for second-year head coach Brandon Staley and Co. They've spent as much as they can on the lottery ticket that is an elite quarterback on a rookie contract in Herbert. It's time to cash in.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 7

The Chargers have been trying to find a backup for running back Austin Ekeler. Maybe free-agent addition Sony Michel, cut by the Dolphins at the end of the preseason, will be the answer. Michel had some good moments with the Rams last season.

PFT -- Rank: 15

Is it already playoffs or bust for second-year coach Brandon Staley?

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