Four players to watch

November, 13, 2008
11/13/08
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here are four players from the AFC West that I am interested in watching in Week 11:

Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders: It may be boring to watch Asomugha because nothing happens. But that's the point. That's why he is a shutdown corner. That's why he is one of the most underappreciated players in the league. That's why he is the lone bright spot in Oakland. Asomugha has been thrown at about 10 times in nine games. Carolina challenged him once Sunday -- and Asomugha intercepted the pass. Asomugha is remarkable and Miami knows it. Don't expect the Dolphins to go after Asomugha more than once or so. It may not be exciting but Asomugha is always on his game, whether he gets any action or not.

Peyton Hillis, Denver Broncos: The rookie fullback is likely to get a ton of action at Atlanta -- at tailback. Denver has lost four tailbacks since training camp (they have lost three in the past two games) and Selvin Young is still dealing with a groin injury. The Broncos brought back Tatum Bell this week and he will play. But expect Hillis, a seventh-round pick from Arkansas, to get plenty of carries himself. Denver will need a balanced offense to win at Atlanta and Hillis will get his chance to make a difference.

Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs' home game against the Saints will be Johnson's first game after sitting for the past four games for off-field issues. Johnson is coming back to a different Chiefs offense. Before he sat down, Johnson was the focal point of the offense. But now, the Chiefs are a passing offense with Tyler Thigpen thriving in the spread. But with Johnson back, the run game will need to be a large part of the offense again. It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs slice the offense.

LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers: Tomlinson said this week that he doesn't think the Chargers' run offense is performing as well as it should. He's right. But he needs to help do something about it. Tomlinson had 78 yards on 22 carries last week. He is still a premier player and has to take this challenge and be a bigger factor in the Chargers' crucial game at Pittsburgh.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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