Often times, the NFL will give its fans the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Fans of the San Diego Chargers have been on that roller coast so far this season, witnessing the team blow a huge lead to the Kansas City Chiefs before blowing out the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then, just as they were set to pull off a road win over the Indianapolis Colts, Jason Verrett gets burned by T.Y. Hilton on a 63-yard touchdown pass with just over one minute to play in the game.
The team hasn’t been sitting pretty in the power rankings from around the web to this point in the season, and this loss isn’t going to help.
Let’s go around to the other reputable websites and see where their respective rankers put the Chargers after three games.
Sep 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts receiver T.J. Hilton (13) makes the game winning touchdown catch against the San Diego Chargers. the Colts won, 26-22 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sport
NFL.com: No. 25
Elliott Harrison of NFL.com puts the Chargers in the No. 25 slot this week, down four spots from where he had them last week. He had this to say about the team.
Evaluating this Chargers’ defense is beyond difficult. Both of San Diego’s losses felt like that girl who matches you on Bumble but never sends you a follow-up message. Then there was the blowout win against the Jags, which seemed like an easy stroll by a dominant D — but we know that’s not the case. The unit was viable on Sunday. Unfortunately, the absence of Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead made it harder to pull off the road win.
My Take: I agree for the most part. Though the Chargers didn’t lose this game because of the losses of Woodhead and Allen, the defense still needs to get better. The unit has shown the capability, but things may be a little more difficult without Manti Te’o.
Sep 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) yells out instructions during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers are 1-2, but they’ve lost on scores in overtime and with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter. If the Chargers can hold on in Week 4 against the Saints, they’ll probably feel better about their start (and finishes).
My Take: Chargers fans should appreciate the optimism shown there by ESPN, which clearly believes in the team, at least to a point.
It’s true that the Saints are on deck and if anyone watched their game on Monday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons, they saw maybe the softest defense of all-time. The Chargers have a great chance to even their record at 2-2, and that could change the mood in a hurry.
Sep 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) runs with the ball against Indianapolis Colts safety Clayton Geathers (26) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
FOX Sports: No. 20
Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports knocks the Chargers down two spots from his rankings last week, but he still isn’t as sour on the team as other sites are.
Philip Rivers hasn’t missed much of a beat without Keenan Allen or Danny Woodhead, but it’s undeniable the offense is less explosive without them. At least Melvin Gordon looks like the player he was in college, though the defense needs to play better. At 1-2, the Chargers are falling behind quickly in the AFC West.
My Take: There is no doubt that Rivers hasn’t missed a beat. Tyrell Williams has stepped up in a big way and I would expect Dexter McCluster to make some plays soon. Still, the players named aren’t the reason why this team is ranked so low. Why hasn’t anybody brought up the poor choices by the coaching staff?
Dan Parzych compiled his weekly rankings over at NFL Spin Zone compiled his weekly rankings, dropping the Chargers four slots from No. 19 down to No. 23. Here’s a snippet of what Parzych said in regards to that ranking.
“San Diego appeared to be in complete control of this game before letting T.Y Hilton break loose for a 63-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play. That big play ended up being the game winner for the Colts. Between this game and the opening weekend loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers have nobody to blame but themselves for being in this current position as they prepare for another tough matchup against the Saints in Week 4.”
My Take: All of that seems pretty obvious, aside from the Saints being a “tough matchup”. Perhaps any team will be tough for the Chargers to beat at this point, but if they can’t pile up the points on that putrid defense, it might be time to throw in the towel.
That said, the defense needs to make some plays and going up against Drew Brees and his offense will present a challenging situation. If they succeed, there could be reason for hope for the remaining 12 games.