Take a look at where various NFL analysts and publications have the Bolts ranked heading into their Week 14 matchup with the New York Giants.
"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."'
"The Chargers peeled off the first 24 points of the game against the Bengals. They also sacked Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow six times and forced four turnovers, including a Joe Mixon fumble returned for a score that all but ended the Bengals' comeback effort.
While speaking to CBS Sports' Evan Washburn after the game, Chargers safety Derwin James said the team needs to play at this level more consistently.
"Everybody's seen the type of team we have today," James said. "... We just have to be consistent with it. All four quarters, not two quarters."
"The Chargers are easily one of the NFL's most intriguing teams," Sobleski said. "Justin Herbert is truly special with his playmaking ability and natural arm talent. Along with a strong supporting cast, the Chargers can score on anyone. The defense is well-coached by Brandon Staley, too. They can face any opponent and beat them. They just need to be more consistent."'
"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."
"The Chargers find themselves in a similar position to all the teams ranked around them, up or down, in the immediate vicinity. Fresh off an emphatic drubbing of the Bengals, they must lean on a budding superstar at quarterback (Justin Herbert), a running back likely to win more than a few fantasy football playoffs (Austin Ekeler), a defensive guru in Coach Brandon Staley, and a talented roster that sometimes plays to its potential—and sometimes looks more like a pretender. A meh upcoming schedule should help cement a playoff bid. Also of note: Herbert became only the third signal caller in NFL history with at least 25 touchdown passes in his first two seasons (others: Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson), per the NFL."
"The Chargers get a depleted Giants team this week, then host the Chiefs in Week 15 in a great Thursday night game. If the Chargers win both of those games, they'll be in first place of the AFC West (thanks to clinching the tiebreaker over the Chiefs) with three games to go. That win at Cincinnati on Sunday was huge."
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