Not even a week has passed since the New England Patriots were crowned Super Bowl Champs and the top pundits around the league have already put together their initial power rankings for 2019.
You should never put too much stock in power rankings, especially ones that come out seven months before the season begins. However, it's clear that the consensus throughout the industry is that the Chargers are once again primed to have another impressive year.
ESPN ranks the Bolts at number five, with Eric Williams pointing to the man in charge as the main reason for optimism:
"Coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers are 21-11 in the regular season during Lynn's tenure, and they reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013 last season, winning a game in the Wild-Card Round. Lynn has brought a steadying hand and has empowered other players to lead, resulting in the Chargers emerging as Super Bowl contenders in 2019."
The Chargers also come in at number five according to USA Today with Nate Davis believing two young studs playing a full year can take the Bolts even further:
"Could the best Bolts team in recent memory be even better in 2019 with full seasons out of DE Joey Bosa and TE Hunter Henry?"
Meanwhile, NFL Network lists Los Angeles at number six. According to analyst Elliot Harrison, it's largely thanks to the team's arsenal of weapons in the passing game:
"Keenan Allen is still the WR1, a third down chains-mover who commands attention. Mike Williams took off late in the season, and although he will push Allen for targets, his area really could be the red zone. Hunter Henry will be fed his fair share of RZ throws, too."
Finally, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio also has the Bolts at six as well, and just like ESPN, made a point to praise the team's head coach:
"Anthony Lynn is the most underrated coach in football."