Let me start by saying that I am not a big fan of power rankings. That can certainly be confirmed in that they are a waste of time when done during the preseason or the first few weeks of the regular season.
That being said, it is kind of nice to see the Chargers receive some praise from the national media.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com elevated the Bolts two spots into the 11th position of his most recent power rankings. The team was formerly slated in the 13th hole out of the league’s 32 teams.
After an impressive come-from-behind win over the Lions on Sunday, here’s what Harrison had to say regarding the Chargers:
“Panic? Maybe. Character? Check. Big win? Absolutely. San Diego was resilient enough to come back from a 21-3 deficit against a team that certainly has the makings of a playoff squad. The AFC West is going to be a three-way fight, and the Chargers have as strong a shot as the Broncos and Chiefs.”
Harrison is right that this was a big win. In years past, the team from San Diego might have folded after being down by a deficit of 21-3.
That was not the case on White Hot Sunday.
After what many considered to be a terrible first half, and rightfully so, Philip Rivers and company rebounded scoring 30 unanswered points.
Rivers threw two interceptions in the first half, the second being a horrendous attempt to Malcom Floyd that was terribly underthrown and easily picked off.
Although the offense notched two scores on the ground, it was limited to 95 yards rushing. Woodhead scored both rushing touchdowns, while rookie Melvin Gordon had a team-high 52 yards rushing.
Despite a rushing attack that was a bit underwhelming, the Charger air attack was potent and effective.
Rivers was 35-42 through the air, throwing for 404 yards and two passing scores. He did not turn the ball over in the second half.
The receiving corps proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Keenan Allen exploded, tying a team record with 15 receptions. Those grabs were good for 166 yards. Stevie Johnson showed that Tom Telesco made a solid acquisition by hauling in six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Ladarius Green was a force in the absence of Antonio Gates, snagging five receptions for 74 yards and a score.
The defense, despite giving up 28 points, made some key stops; the most impressive of which was a diving interception by rookie Kyle Emanuel after Melvin Ingram steamrolled quarterback Matthew Stafford. The first-year pro also recorded the team’s only sack. The secondary was solid, holding Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate to a combined six receptions for 63 yards.
When going over the game, the 11th ranking by Harrison seems about right. Although the Chargers are not listed as a top-10 squad, their seeding would still have them as a playoff-caliber team. There are six AFC teams laced above them; meaning they would just miss the playoffs in this scenario.
Enough of this crap. As we head into week 2, the Chargers have one game in the win column as they prepare to play the Bengals in Cincinnati.
Thanks a lot for reading.
“Bye week in San Diego. We literally can’t wait until this team gets Denver (on Nov. 10) and Kansas City (on Dec. 29) at home. Been saying all year that the Chargers wouldn’t be pushovers, and if you’ve watched them this season, you know that assertion certainly has held true.
I love that Harrison points out the performance of veteran tight end, and future hall of famer, Antonio Gates. Although the talk around the league concerning the Bolts has been about “fixing” of Philip Rivers, the resurgence of Gates has certainly been crucial to the early season success of the Chargers.
The offense has been solid especially considering the fact that the running game has started to get going. After a brilliant defensive gameplan by John Pagano versus the Indianapolis Colts, the fans would like to see more of the same as San Diego will see its schedule get much tougher in the last nine games.
I try not to think like this seeing as we’ve only played 7 games, but if the playoffs started today the Chargers would be the 6th seed in the AFC. That prematurely stated stat goes hand in hand with Harrison’s ranking of the Bolts in the 11th position of the NFL.