Take a look at where various NFL analysts and publications have the Bolts ranked heading into their Week 8 matchup with the New England Patriots.
"Things lighten up over the middle of the season. The Chargers don't play another team with a winning record until Week 13. But opponents like the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers aren't pushovers either, and there's little margin for error in a competitive AFC West."
"The loss to the Ravens lingers, but I wouldn't bet against Brandon Staley after a week of self scouting. This is especially true given the Chargers' soft schedule from here on out, which features just two teams—the Raiders and the Bengals—with winning records. Even if you toss the Chiefs into the mix, this isn't anything to flinch at."
"The Chargers are good -- potentially great -- but they remain under construction."
"The Chargers had two weeks to stew over their poor showing against the Ravens. Now they get the Patriots at home, which will be fun seeing Justin Herbert against Bill Belichick."
"Center Corey Linsley, a free-agent addition from Green Bay, runs the show and first-round rookie Rashawn Slater owns the left side. Free-agent guard Oday Aboushi tore an ACL, but Michael Schofield III has filled in well. After struggling early, Storm Norton has been playing better at right tackle after having to replace injured veteran Bryan Bulaga. Their chemistry continues to get better as they provide more time for QB Justin Herbert than he got a year ago. Linsley says of his connection with Herbert: "His leadership is fantastic."
"The Chiefs' loss was a victory for the Chargers over their bye week. The upcoming schedule isn't too tough either (vs. Patriots, at Eagles, vs. Vikings, vs. Steelers, at Broncos), so they have a chance to solidify their place in the division along with the Raiders."
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