One player from each AFC West team to watch in Week 16
Denver, Lance Ball, running back: The 3-11 Broncos are in future mode as they prepare to host Houston. With Knowshon Moreno questionable to play with an injury, Ball should get plenty of carries. He has a chance to show the incoming coaching staff that he can have a role in this offense moving forward.
Kansas City, Wallace Gilberry, defensive lineman: Gilberry’s performance in the Chiefs’ win over St. Louis was overshadowed by Matt Cassel’s heroic return. But Gilberry was terrific. He had three sacks and he now has seven sacks on the season. Gilberry is an intriguing player. He is a high-energy player who continues to make strides. He is a big reason why 2009 No. 3 pick Tyson Jackson has played a limited role for much of this season. Gilberry may not be a big name, but he’s making a big impact.
Oakland, Darren McFadden, running back: McFadden is becoming one of more entertaining players to watch in the NFL. He just celebrated his first 1,000-yard rushing season. McFadden has 1,112 yards rushing and he is a receiving threat out of the backfield. According to ESPN Stats & Information, McFadden leads all NFL running backs in receiving yards after the catch with a 12.0 yards per catch average. He’s on his way to becoming a star in this league.
San Diego, Eric Weddle, safety: Weddle is having a strong season. He did a nice job against San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis in Week 15. Weddle will be asked to take a lead role against the Bengals as the Chargers try to keep their playoff hopes alive. Weddle is a playmaker who always seems to be near the ball.