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

ESPN -- Rank: 12

How hot is Brandon Staley's seat: 1. Cold seat

The Chargers haven't been to the playoffs since the 2018 campaign. This team turned around when quarterback Justin Herbert was drafted in 2020 and Staley arrived after the end of last season. The organization and the players are squarely behind the coach's "going for it on fourth down" decisions -- even when they don't always work. He has a young, smart staff and talented players on both side of the ball. And most importantly, Staley has their trust. Everything down to the activation period (stretching and calisthenics) has been well-received and emulated around the league. -- Shelley Smith

NFL.com -- Rank: 10

Is there such a thing as believing in your guys ... too much? Over and over, the Chargers passed on easy points on Thursday night in favor of bold risks that didn't pay off. Two trips inside the Kansas City 5-yard line ended with fourth-down incompletions; another trip imploded with a goal-line fumble. More conservative decision-making by Brandon Staley likely would have avoided the fate of Thursday night's painful overtime loss to the Chiefs -- but Staley has a vision. "That's the way we're going to play around here," the coach said after the game. "... With a quarterback like ours, with an offense like ours, that's how we're going to play."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 10

That was a tough loss to the Chiefs, but they are still have the look of a playoff team. Justin Herbert is special.

USA Today -- Rank: 12

Impressive commitment to the run lately, Bolts averaging better than 130 yards over the past five weeks. And impressive commitment to analytics by coach Brandon Staley.

The Athletic -- Rank: 9

Our gift to you: A fourth-down, walk-off touchdown to make the playoffs. You can imagine the Week 18 scenario. The Chargers are in Las Vegas, needing a win over the Raiders to secure their first playoff appearance since 2018. Los Angeles trails, 31-28, and faces a fourth-and-goal at the Raiders' 3-yard line with 5 seconds left. Sure, a field goal would send the game to overtime. But Brandon Staley says, "To hell with all that." The Chargers call for a rub route that frees Keenan Allen in the corner of the end zone, but the Raiders blanket the all-world wide receiver. Quarterback Justin Herbert tucks the ball instead, sprints to his right, dives for the pylon and ... touchdown! Long live the fourth-down gamblers.

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