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Chargers Week 3 Power Rankings Roundup: Bolts plummet after 0-2 start

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By: Michael Peterson

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Chargers are now in the lower third of the NFL following their second straight loss to begin the season.

The Chargers fell to 0-2 after a 27-24 loss to the Titans on the road in overtime. The loss had a profound effect on the team’s placement in the league and it was manifested across the slew of power rankings posted as of Tuesday morning.

After hanging around the middle of the league through the first loss, the Bolts finally plummeted half a dozen spots on average, ending up in the early to mid-20s.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at where they landed after two rough games to begin the 2023 season.

ESPN – #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

Sportsnaut – #20

“Brandon Staley has to go. The Los Angeles Chargers should’ve done it in January after Staley’s team blew a three-score lead in the AFC Wild Card Game. Instead, he was allowed to stick around. It’s unfortunate because a great coach could likely turn the Chargers into a Super Bowl contender. Instead, this becomes a “What if?” roster.” – Matt Johnson

USA Today – #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.” – Nate Davis

Yahoo Sports – #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.”

CBS Sports – #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.” – Pete Prisco

Pro Football Network – #22

“What a disastrous football team the Los Angeles Chargers have been through two weeks of the NFL calendar. Their defense was outmatched against the Dolphin, yes, but their lack of cohesiveness and assignment responsibility was tragic. Even on plays that Miami moved the ball on, two or three other receivers were running free.”

“Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins are good, but not that good. Then, the Chargers had every opportunity to beat the Titans on Sunday. They were up and able to pin their ears back against a horrific offensive line. And while they got home often, they again allowed a QB to dice them in the play-action passing game.– Dalton Miller

Bleacher Report – #22

“Twice this season, the Los Angeles Chargers have been in position to win a game late. And twice this season, they’ve been unable to seal the deal. After falling in overtime in Nashville on Sunday, the Bolts now sit at 0-2.”

“An 0-2 start isn’t always a kiss of death for NFL teams. Three teams lost their first two games and went on to win the Super Bowl that season, according to Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports.”

“Given how they’re playing defensively, it’s a stretch to call the Chargers a Super Bowl contender. Instead, their rocky start has put head coach Brandon Staley on the hot seat.”

“‘The Titans scored 27 points in this game, the first time Tennessee’s gone over 20 points since Week 14 last year and the first time they’ve scored 27 points or more since Week 11, the only time the Titans did so all 2022 season,’ Will Brinson of CBS Sports wrote. ‘Against the Saints last week, the Titans barely mustered 15 points and looked horrendous on offense.’”

“Why does this matter? Because Brandon Staley is a defensive coach and the Chargers consistently fail to play good defense. The Dolphins’ passing success from last week is well documented and today’s performance might be worse given how bad the Titans looked in Week 1.”

“Next week, the Chargers face a similarly desperate 0-2 Vikings team. Both clubs made the playoffs last season. Neither can play defense right now.”

“‘At this point, the Chargers no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt,’ Sobleski wrote. ‘They have one of the game’s best young quarterbacks in Justin Herbert, and the roster is littered with talent, yet this squad just finds ways to lose.’”

“Staley’s defense has been particularly poor. In fact, the unit currently ranks dead last in total defense. Struggling to slow the Miami Dolphins offense is one thing. Not finding a way to stop the Titans late in the fourth quarter and overtime is something entirely different.”

“Until proven otherwise, the 0-2 Chargers should find themselves among the league’s worst teams.”

Sporting News – #24

“The Chargers keep falling apart in close games. One possession isn’t their friend and now they’re 0-2 with surprisingly bad defense under Brandon Staley, He may not be the right guy to win the biggest with Justin Herbert.” – Vinnie Iyer

Originally posted on Bolts From The Blue – All Posts

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