Thursday, September 21, 2023

Los Angeles Chargers Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Throughout the 2023 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 3 roundup for the Los Angeles Chargers in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 17

Player: RB Austin Ekeler
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

In an offseason laden with running back contract drama, Ekeler was briefly at the center of it all. He requested a trade in March after the two sides couldn't agree to a multiyear contract extension. In May, Ekeler eventually agreed to a revised contract that added $1.75 million in incentives. In the Chargers' opening game of 2023, he led the backfield with 117 yards and a touchdown. With Ekeler out in Week 2 with an ankle injury, the running game stalled, as Chargers rushers totaled just 61 yards on the ground. -- Kris Rhim -- Rank: 16

If you've watched either of the Chargers' two losses, you might have noticed they really haven't been a function of poor effort. It's a matter of straight-up execution mistakes. Time and time again. Almost always at the worst possible moments. And while the offense isn't completely off the hook (too many sacks and settling for short field goals), it's really the defense that has been the bigger problem. At least the pass rush woke up (five sacks at Tennessee), but that doesn't make up for the fact that the Bolts have been bombarded by deep passes. It's a maddening storyline that won't evaporate until the defense proves it can stop someone.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 22

This team is 0-2, and the heat is certainly on as they ready to play the Vikings on the road. The defense has been bad.

USA Today -- Rank: 21

HC Brandon Staley claims "the men in that locker room are finishers," yet the Bolts have lost four straight — going back to 2022 — by a total of nine points, including (yes, Coach Staley) last season's wild-card implosion. They are the first team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 50 points while committing zero turnovers yet start 0-2.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

Another "offense is not the problem" team. Quarterback Justin Herbert is third among quarterbacks in offensive EPA per play (.23) and his yards per attempt are up from last season (7.2 compared with 6.8). Herbert is going to be a selling point when Los Angeles goes out looking for another head coach in the offseason (or sooner?).

FOX -- Rank:

Someone make sense of this silly team for me. Justin Herbert isn't the problem; he's completing 68% of his passes for an average of 267 yards per game. The run game churned out 234 yards last week. The Chargers have yet to turn the ball over. They've had the lead in the fourth quarter two weeks in a row. They just can't finish. It's frustrating to watch as an outsider. I can't imagine how it feels for head coach Brandon Staley, his staff and his locker room.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 21

The defensive issues the Chargers have are troubling. Brandon Staley was supposed to be a defensive guru. That's how he was billed when he came over from the Rams. His defense struggling like it has is not a good look, to say the least.

PFT -- Rank: 22

Coach Brandon Staley got a little salty with reporters after the latest loss. His team and the rest of us need to see that version of him a little more often, if he hopes to make it to 2024.

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