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Power Rankings: Bolts Continue to Rise Ahead of Week 18

Power Rankings W18

The Chargers closed out their last regular season home game on a high note by rolling past the Rams on Sunday afternoon.

Following Week 17 around the league, NFL analysts and publications have released their power rankings. Take a look at where the Bolts are ranked as they enter their regular season finale in Denver against the Broncos.

No. 7: Dan Hanzus - (Last week: No. 8)

It doesn't feel like Austin Ekeler quite gets his due. Let's try to rectify that a bit right here: Austin Ekeler is a do-it-all superstar, and the Chargers would be lost without him. The sixth-year running back scored two more touchdowns in Sunday's 31-10 win over the Rams (giving him a league-high 18 total scores on the season) and also went over 100 receptions (becoming the only running back to reach the century mark so far this season). He is Los Angeles' jack of all trades on offense and as consistent a performer as you'll find in the sport right now. Fantasy owners shouldn't be the only ones singing this man's praises.

No. 7: NFL Staff - Bleacher Report (Last week: No. 8)

The Los Angeles Chargers really didn't have anything to play for in Week 17. The Bolts had already secured a wild-card berth.

But the Chargers certainly didn't look like a team that was playing for nothing—especially running back Austin Ekeler.

With four catches against the Rams, Ekeler became the fifth running back in NFL history to catch 100 passes in a season. He leads all running backs in touchdowns, and against the Rams Ekeler piled up over 160 yards from scrimmage...

Check out the best shots as the Chargers cruised to a 31-10 win over the Rams in Week 17 at SoFi

No. 7: Vinnie Iyer - Sporting News (Last week: No. 9)

Add the Chargers to the short list of white-hot teams surging ahead of the playoffs. Justin Herbert has his groove back passing and Austin Ekeler hasn't lost his. The defense has to be thrilled to have Joey Bosa back.

No. 8: Pete Prisco - CBS Sports (Last week: No. 9)

They seem to really have it going at the right time. It's amazing how good this team can look as they get healthy.

Check out the best photos from Austin Ekeler's 161 total scrimmage-yard, two touchdown, Week 17 performance against the Rams that earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for first time in his career

No. 8: Frank Schwab - Yahoo Sports (Last week: No. 9)

The Ravens' loss Sunday night was big for the Chargers. That slid the Chargers into the No. 5 seed. If the Chargers win Sunday, on wild-card weekend they'll face the No. 4 seed, which is the AFC South champion.

No. 7: NFL Nation - Lindsey Thiry - (Last week: No. 9)

Regular season in five words or fewer: Weathered the storm

The Chargers opened the season with a ready-made roster for a Super Bowl run, but that goal quickly appeared in jeopardy after the Bolts suffered several significant injuries within the first three weeks: Justin Herbert fractured rib cartilage; WR Keenan Allen strained a hamstring; and LT Rashawn Slater and edge rusher Joey Bosa were placed on injured reserve. Continuing into the season, injuries continued to plague the team, with CB J.C. Jackson, DL Austin Johnson and WR Mike Williams all missing time. Nevertheless, the Chargers remained on course and in contention to earn a postseason berth. Now several players -- including Allen, Williams and Bosa -- have returned healthy and the Chargers have clinched their first playoff berth since 2018.

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