The first game of the 2022 season is in the books, and so is the Chargers first win.
Following Week 1 around the league, NFL analysts and publications have released their power rankings. Take a look at where the Bolts are ranked as they begin to prepare for Thursday Night Football in Kansas City:
No. 5: Dan Hanzus - NFL.com (Last week: No. 9)
The Chargers received impact performances from a host of newcomers in a promising 24-19 win over the Raiders. TE Gerald Everett and WR DeAndre Carter both scored touchdowns, while OLB Khalil Mack had three of L.A.'s six sacks of a rattled Derek Carr at SoFi Stadium. Justin Herbert was predictably great, finding ways to move the offense even after Keenan Allen left the game with a hamstring injury...
No. 4: NFL Staff - Bleacher Report (Last week: No. 6)
Sunday's AFC West battle between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders was one of the biggest matchups of Week 1. It was an opportunity for both teams to make a case as the top threat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the division.
The Chargers took the early lead in that department.
No. 4: Bo Wulf - The Athletic (Last week: No. 5)
But perhaps no team needed its contribution from the big-ticket newcomer more than the Chargers needed Khalil Mack, who had three sacks, including one on the game-deciding play against the Raiders.
"People who are trying to figure out Khalil Mack — what they're gonna get or is he the same Khalil Mack? — are out of their mind," Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox told Daniel Popper after the game. "He's the same or better. He's an amazing, amazing player."
After finishing 20th in the league in sack rate in 2021, the Chargers sacked Derek Carr [six] times in Sunday's 24-19 win, the most sacks of Carr since 2018.
Get an inside look at the postgame celebration from the Chargers 24-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders to kick-off the 2022 season!!
No. 4: Austin Gayle - The Ringer (Last week: No. 6)
Justin Herbert is a top-three quarterback in the NFL, and the defense is showing massive improvement from last season. Buy the hype. This Chargers team is legit and they'll get a chance to prove it when they face the Chiefs on Thursday night.
No. 4: Vinnie Iyer - Sporting News (Last week: No. 4)
The Chargers showed off their new-look defense well against the Raiders, with Khalil Mack on the revenge attack, even without new shutdown corner J.C. Jackson. MVP candidate Justin Herbert and the offense are a given every week and they seem to have found more sources of lightning.
No. 5: Pete Prisco - CBS Sports (Last week: No. 9)
With that passer in Justin Herbert and those pass rushers in Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, they have the two main things needed to win it all. Now they have a chance to show the Chiefs this week in a big early game.
No. 6 Frank Schwab - Yahoo Sports (Last week: No. 7)
The Chargers didn't play great but still won, which is actually a step forward. This Thursday night, when the Chargers play at the Chiefs, will be a phenomenal measuring stick for Los Angeles in what's supposed to be a breakout season.
No. 4: Lindsey Thiry - ESPN.com (Last week: No. 8)
Rookie who stood out: FB Zander Horvath
A seventh-round pick from Purdue, Horvath made his debut in a 24-19 win over the division rival Raiders. The rookie fullback proved dependable in the second quarter, when he caught a 1-yard pass from quarterback Justin Herbert to put the Bolts up 10-3. He finished the game with one carry for 2 yards and two catches for 6 yards and a touchdown. Not huge numbers by any stretch, but a solid -- if not unexpected -- contribution from a seventh-round pick.
No. 11: Mike Florio - Pro Football Talk (Last week: No. 15)
Great start. Consistency, and health, will be the key.
No. 3: Conor Orr - Sports Illustrated
All Hail the Chargers, our offseason kings. While it wasn't always beautiful in a win over the Raiders, they finished with the eighth-best defense on Sunday in terms of opposing offensive EPA per dropback. While we're more concerned about rushing EPA, any progress is progress.
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