One player to watch

October, 20, 2011
10/20/11
12:00
PM ET
One player to watch for each AFC West team in Week 7:

Denver, Von Miller, linebacker: The No. 2 overall pick in the April draft has been excellent as a pass-rusher and that’s why Denver took him. He has five sacks in five NFL games and is on pace to set the NFL rookie sack record. However, he lost some playing time in the base defense in Week 5. So he needs to improve as a complete player at Miami. Ultimately, the Broncos took Miller because of his pass-rushing skills, but they want to see him become a complete player.

Kansas City, Jackie Battle, running back: He is giving the Chiefs a chance for running success after the season-ending knee injury to star Jamaal Charles. Battle had 119 yards on 19 carries in Week 5. He will be given the chance to establish a ground attack at Oakland.

Oakland, Aaron Curry, linebacker: It was remarkable that Curry played extensively in Week 6 after just one practice with the Raiders. He was traded from Seattle last week. Curry will continue to start on the weak side Sunday against the Chiefs. The Raiders will give the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft every opportunity to save his career.

San Diego, Antonio Gates, tight end: He could play Sunday at the New York Jets after missing the past three games with a nagging foot injury. Getting on the field is one thing, but can Gates be productive? If not, he may need more rest.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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