2018 NFL Power Rankings: Week 14

Was the Chargers' win over the Steelers enough to keep them among this week's top three teams?

As the Saints and Rams jostle for the top spot in our nERD power rankings, a team from the AFC West is holding down the third spot on the list.

And it might not be the team you are thinking of.

For the second straight week, the Los Angeles Chargers are third in our rankings, which measure how many points above or below average a team is. The Chargers jumped into the top three last week with a dominant win over the Cardinals and stayed there after upsetting the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Last week, I wrote about teams with great offenses and poor defenses (and vice versa), and how it is usually better to rank higher on the offensive end. The Chargers are the rare team in 2018 to be strong on both sides of the ball and are actually the only one to rank in the top 10 in both opponent-adjusted Offensive and Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP).

Philip Rivers and the offense lead the way, ranking 4th in NEP per play and 3rd in NEP per dropback, but the defense is also tied for 10th in NEP allowed per play.

They are ahead of the Chiefs, who actually slipped down to seventh in the ranking this week after only beating lowly Oakland by seven. Kansas City still owns a terrific offense, but unlike their division rivals, they have a major weakness on the other side of the field.