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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Los Angeles Chargers

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Los Angeles Chargers rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Chargers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 15

Person on the hot seat: RB Justin Jackson

Jackson is the Chargers' No. 4 running back at the moment, and few see the team keeping all four. He has been productive when healthy in his first three seasons but finds himself fighting for time with starter Austin Ekeler, second-year man Joshua Kelley and rookie Larry Rountree III. Jackson's future with the Chargers looks uncertain, and he could be the victim of a numbers game. -- Shelley Smith

NFL.com -- Rank: 12

On a recent Around The NFL Podcast, I listed the Chargers as a winner of the training camp/preseason portion of the calendar for the simple fact that they got out of the summer without losing any of their stars to a major injury. Real Bolts fans know roster health should never be assumed, but first-year coach Brandon Staley managed to break camp with a talented roster locked and loaded for Week 1 against Washington. The team also made an attempt to address its epic special teams woes by parting ways with kicker Michael Badgley in favor of Tristan Vizcaino, who has one game of NFL regular season experience. Sometimes you have to cash out on the Money Badger.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 20

I don't see a sophomore slump for Justin Herbert, which means the offense will be explosive behind an improved offensive line. The defense gets back Derwin James, which will help that side grow.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

They didn't show much in preseason, yet new coach Brandon Staley's cautious approach also prevented the Bolts from suffering the catastrophic injury that typically befalls them. Still, a new staff and schemes could mean slow start with Washington, Dallas and K.C. on September lineup.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

Why they're ranked here: The Herbert Hype is real. The Chargers climbed two spots, from No. 13 to No. 11, since our pre-training camp Power Rankings. We have a few theories, but the most logical one is Justin Herbert and the building excitement about what the 2020 offensive rookie of the year will do in Year 2. (It's also possible that questions with other teams in this range, notably the Colts, boosted the Chargers.)

One big question: Can they stay healthy? The Chargers made it through the preseason without a major season-ending injury (please, please, please don't let this be a jinx), so we're cautiously optimistic. We're most excited to see a healthy Derwin James, who has played in only five games since his standout rookie season in 2018.

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