Take a look at where various NFL analysts and publications have the Bolts ranked heading into their matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders this Monday.
"Sunday's trip to Arrowhead was a big game for the Los Angeles Chargers. Lose a second straight game, and the Bolts would fall to 1-2 and again look the part of an also-ran in the division. Notch an upset victory, on the other hand, and it would be the Chiefs who fell to 1-2 and the AFC West would be blown wide open.
That second one happened.
Offensively, Justin Herbert outplayed Patrick Mahomes, throwing for 281 yards and four scores. Wide receiver Mike Williams continued his torrid start to the season, hauling in a pair of TD passes, including the game-winner with 32 seconds left.
Defensively, Los Angeles was all up in Mahomes' business, sacking him twice, harassing him consistently and picking him off two times. It was an outstanding all-around effort that cemented the Bolts as legitimate contenders in the AFC.
"The Chargers are a couple of illegal shift calls away from being 3-0," Davenport said. "Herbert is playing as well as any quarterback in the league, and the L.A. offense is rolling. If they can get a little more consistency on defense, this team has what it takes to make a deep playoff run."
"If you slay the two-time defending conference champs in their own building, you have to move ahead of that team in power rankings," Gagnon added. "It's a legal thing. But, man, the Chargers look like they have something very special in the making with this core and regime. I'm not sure about the Broncos or Raiders just yet, but it's beginning to look like Bolts-Chiefs could be a hell of a rivalry for years to come in the AFC West."
"Justin Herbert was terrific Sunday versus the Chiefs, completing 26 of 38 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns with zero turnovers. He had a better completion percentage in a loss against Dallas the week before, but turnovers and penalties took two touchdowns away. Everything indicates his numbers will continue to grow. He has completed 69.8% of his passes through three games. "We are fortunate enough to have a gangster quarterback," coach Brandon Staley said. Herbert took his team through two crucial fourth-down plays on the final drive of Sunday's win in Kansas City and didn't blink. "We want to put the ball in Justin Herbert's hand and have him be the decider," Staley emphasized."
"We're fortunate we have a gangster quarterback," new Bolts coach Brandon Staley said of Justin Herbert after Sunday's win at Kansas City. OK, sure, Coach. But for context, Herbert's the same guy who founded a fishing club in high school."
"Brandon Staley is in love with his quarterback. Can you blame him? For the second straight week, the Chargers' head coach made a point to call Justin Herbert the best player on the field, this time after Herbert powered the Bolts to a dramatic 30-24 win over the Chiefs in Arrowhead. It's not lip service by Staley, either: On multiple occasions Sunday, Staley opted to keep his offense on the field rather than settle for sensible field-goal attempts. It was a tacit acknowledgement of Patrick Mahomes' greatness, sure, but also a showing of supreme faith in his own guy. The Chargers converted first downs in each instance. The football world is quickly learning what Staley and the Power Rankings already knew: Justin Herbert Is A Savage In The Pocket."
"That's a big-time win on the road against the Chiefs. Justin Herbert bounced out of his slow start with an impressive four-touchdown pass game."
Check out the best shots from the Chargers Week 3 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
"I could easily have made the case for the Chargers at 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. Hebert would be the centerpiece of any such rationale. He reminds me so much of Mahomes: great arm, creative flair, some doubts lingering coming out of college, fiery start to a budding NFL career. But Herbert is also part of the reason I have the LAC just a touch lower than most do. He's still a young quarterback, and he still plays on a developing team. Plus, there's the schedule: Raiders, Browns, Ravens (away) and Patriots upcoming. I still believe the Chiefs will win the AFC West. But I also believe the Chargers will challenge them, starting this season, and that Hebert will be a major reason why. I'll also look forward to years of Mahomes-Hebert shoot-outs, in much the same way I looked forward to Tom Brady's decades of tough games with division rivals. Oh, wait … whoops"
"Mike Williams is a good example of why coaching matters. The old staff seemed content to have the former No. 7 overall pick function primarily as a deep threat. He had moments of success but through four seasons it seemed like he was capable of more. A new staff expanded his route tree and now Williams looks like an elite receiver. That would give the Chargers two of them, because Keenan Allen is still a star."
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