Around the AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Broncos' run defense will be challenged this week.

My take: Carolina running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are both coming off a huge night on the ground against Tampa Bay. Expect the Panthers to run right at Denver. The Broncos' run defense has improved as the season has progressed. But it can still be had. Denver is the 26th ranked run defense in the NFL and it is allowing 139.5 yards a game. Denver will have to contain Williams and Stewart if it has any chance to win.

Kansas City

Herman Edwards likes the spread offense.

My take: If Edwards likes the spread, then he has to like Tyler Thigpen. If the Chiefs keep the spread offense in 2009, then it's very likely Thigpen will be a part of it. He flourishes in the spread offense. It wouldn't make much since if the Chiefs kept the offense but tried to find someone else to run it.


One columnist says if JaMarcus Russell is a bust it's the Raiders' fault.

My take: I totally agree. Oakland is in coaching flux, it doesn't have very good receivers and its offensive line hasn't protected Russell well. Russell may not be very impressive, but he's not getting a lot of help. You would think the No. 1 overall pick who is the fourth highest paid player in the NFL this season would be given more of a chance to succeed.

San Diego

A look at who Philip Rivers is.

My take: Rivers gets a lot of love in San Diego and a lot of grief in other NFL cities. Yes, he is vocal and animated. But the guy is passionate and he wants to win. Plus, he's a big-league quarterback. San Diego is lucky to have him.