Take a look at where various NFL analysts and publications have the Bolts ranked heading into their matchup with the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.
"Like their roommates at SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Chargers entered Week 4 riding a wave of momentum after a huge win the week before. Like the Los Angeles Rams, the Chargers faced another stiff test this week in an undefeated division rival.
Unlike the Rams, the Chargers took care of business at home.
After doubling up the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night, the Bolts are 3-1 for the first time since 2014 and sit atop the AFC West. It was a total team effort, from it was Justin Herbert's accuracy and Austin Ekeler's running on offense to Joey Bosa's pass rush and Derwin James' coverage on defense. The Chargers piled up 380 yards of offense while holding Vegas to 213—the Raiders lowest offensive output of the season.
"I don't know that the Chargers will be able to hold off the Chiefs in the AFC West," Davenport said, "or that they are as decidedly better than the Raiders as the team looked. But what can't be denied is that Brandon Staley has the Chargers playing at a high level, and Herbert is playing as well as any quarterback in the game. This is a legitimate Super Bowl contender."'
"The Chargers aren't just 3–1, they are 3–1 after playing a formidable early schedule, including games at Arrowhead and against the formerly undefeated Raiders. And they have seemed to gain strength as the season has gone on. That's a good thing, because their schedule won't let up, with the Browns next."
"After the Chargers finished off the Raiders to move into a three-way tie atop the AFC West, they received a high compliment from an unlikely source. "They're going to go places this year," Raiders coach Jon Gruden told the assembled media at SoFi Stadium after the Bolts' 28-14 win. "They're going to be a force to be dealt with." Justin Herbert delivered another star turn with three touchdown passes, but the QB didn't do it alone. Los Angeles got huge performances from running back Austin Ekeler (145 total yards, 2 TDs) and the entire defense, which held the Raiders to season lows in production across the board. Fill up that stadium, Chargers fans!"
"They beat up on the Raiders Monday night. If the defense plays like that, they will be a real threat in the AFC."
"Fun team to watch, especially coach Brandon Staley's utilization of analytics and the occasional trick play. And the results are finally aligning with the talent."
Browse through live action photos of the Bolts Week 4 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.
"Biggest surprise: CB Asante Samuel Jr.
Why it's a surprise: Nobody knew exactly what they were getting when Samuel was drafted with the 47th pick. He's not his dad, but he has surprised just about everyone with interceptions in consecutive games (the first off of Dak Prescott in Week 2, the second off of Patrick Mahomes in the red zone in Week 3). Samuel has four passes defensed and was named Defensive Rookie of the Month but says "I've still got to grind." He's already made a name for himself in the Class of 2021."
"The Chargers have played Washington, the Cowboys, Chiefs and Raiders. All four of those teams have either been great on offense or shown some flashes. All four of those teams had their worst offensive game this season against Brandon Staley's defense. The Chargers might have hired a good one."
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