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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 14 roundup for the Chargers in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 13

Player who must step up: RB Justin Jackson

Jackson was thought to be the No. 2 running back behind Austin Ekeler but missed two straight games with shoulder injuries, and Jackson has yet to play more than 16% of offensive snaps in any contest. He had six carries for 15 yards against the Bengals. The Chargers are in great need for a solid No. 2 back, and Ekeler has the tools; but he can't get on the field. -- Shelley Smith

NFL.com -- Rank: 10

The Chargers flew to Cincinnati to ride a roller coaster. Brandon Staley's team nearly blew a 24-point lead, but a massive touchdown on a fumble recovery by Tevaughn Campbell changed everything in a 41-22 win over the Bengals. It might have been the play of the year for the Bolts, but it wasn't the only promising development to come out of the victory: Justin Herbert and the big-play attack were back after a frustrating sabbatical. Herbert averaged over 9 yards per attempt and showcased his top-shelf arm strength on an absurd 44-yard TD strike to Jalen Guyton in the second quarter. As CBS analyst Charles Davis deftly put it during the telecast: "That call is not in everyone's playbook."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

They impressed in beating the Bengals on the road. The defense made some big plays, including a fumble return for a score, to win that one.

USA Today -- Rank: 11

Want to find some consistency from this bunch? Well, since Week 5, they've won in all odd-numbered weeks and lost in all even-numbered ones. But Sunday's home date with the faltering Giants could be welcome tendency breaker for the Bolts.

The Athletic -- Rank: 12

Best-case scenario: The Chargers have arguably the highest ceiling of any team in the AFC wild-card chase, but they've been maddeningly inconsistent, alternating wins and losses over the past six weeks. The best-case scenario for the Chargers is finding a groove and staying in it. That will require better protection of Justin Herbert but also more trust in their second-year quarterback to let it rip, much like he did in Sunday's win over the Bengals. The Chargers should be heavily favored in two of their next three games (against the Giants in Week 14, and the Texans in Week 16) and the AFC West is even within reach if they can play up to their offensive potential against the Chiefs in Week 15.

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