2023 Power Rankings Roundup, Week 18: Where Chargers stand after loss to Broncos

The Chargers are coming off a loss to the Broncos.

Here is what the national media thinks of the Bolts ahead of the final week of the regular season:

USA Today: 30 (Previous: 30)

“Given how little went right for this team, credit veteran OLB Khalil Mack. Not only did he surpass 100 career sacks, he managed a career-best 16 in 2023 to do it. A guy who might be a cap casualty in 2024 should have several suitors if so.”

Touchdown Wire: 28 (Previous: 27)

NFL: 27 (Previous: 27)

“It was interesting hearing the CBS broadcast crew continue to talk about the Chargers being a talented team, albeit one that has been ravaged by injury this season. That might be true, but even taking the injuries into account, I’ve started to question whether the Chargers actually are among the league’s more talented clubs. Especially considering the high-priced veterans who might not be back, along with a host of young players who have yet to fully realize their potential — or, as in the case of some offensive linemen, who have taken a step backward in their development. I still think that whoever ends up running this team will be taking on a relatively attractive job, with Justin Herbert and a few other pieces in place. But when one considers their salary-cap situation (projected to be almost $35 million in the red in 2024, per Over The Cap) and the veterans who might be lost this offseason, the roster might not be as stacked as some assume.”

CBS Sports: 30 (Previous: 30)

“So much for the interim coach boost. That lasted a week. Now it’s on to finding the right guy for the long term.”

Yahoo Sports: 27 (Previous: 27)

“The Chargers need the season to end. Sunday’s loss to the Broncos was an ugly one, especially on offense.”

The Athletic: 29 (Previous: 28)

The lesson: Coaching hires are a crap shoot

“This is not a new lesson. The Chargers are just the most recent team to highlight it. They hired Brandon Staley in 2021 because he was the hot defensive name. They fired him after 14 games this year because he was 5-9 and his defense stunk. The coaching change hasn’t changed the team’s luck. The Chargers have lost four straight and seven of their last eight heading into the season finale against the Chiefs.”

ESPN: 28 (Previous: 29)

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Keenan Allen

“There are many players to choose from, including Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa and Mike Williams, who all will have cap hits upward of $30 million next season. But Allen is linked to the Chargers in a way those other players aren’t. Drafted in the third round in 2013, Allen is the longest-tenured Charger, having been part of the team from Philip Rivers in San Diego to Justin Herbert in L.A. and for everything in between. But Allen is 31 and has a cap hit of $34.7 million next season. With a new regime, Allen could be playing elsewhere in 2024.”

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire