AFC West Stock Watch

November, 15, 2011
11/15/11
1:00
PM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

[+] EnlargeNorv Turner
Harry How/Getty ImagesNorv Turner's Chargers have now dropped four games in a row after a hot start.
1. The future in San Diego: The Chargers have lost four straight games and are now 4-5. This team looks incapable of doing what it takes to win right now. If the Chargers continue to flounder and don’t make the playoffs for the second straight year, there will be calls for general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner to be fired. The Chargers have long been a sexy Super Bowl pick. But they look far from a Super Bowl team right now.

2. The Chiefs’ playoff chances: The Chiefs’ chances of winning the AFC West took a hit the past two weeks when they lost back-to-back games at home to Miami and Denver to fall to 4-5. Now, the Chiefs enter a tough stretch in which they play five games against 2010 playoff teams. It starts at New England next Monday.

3. Denver’s need to throw: Denver quarterback Tim Tebow threw just eight times in 17-10 win at Kansas City. Denver won for the first time with two or fewer completions. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the only other team in the past 25 years to win a game with two or fewer pass completions and have only one quarterback attempt a pass was the Browns in Week 5 2009 at the Bills.

RISING

1. Kamerion Wimbley, linebacker, Raiders: Wimbley can get sacks in bunches and he had a bunch Thursday night at San Diego. Wimbley had four of the Raiders' six sacks. He set the tone for a ferocious defensive effort. Wimbley can be streaky, but when he is on, he can be unblockable.

2. Denver’s running game: Denver had 244 rushing yards at Kansas City. The Broncos have led the NFL in rushing in the past five weeks. Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno are injured, but Lance Ball took the lead with 96 yards against the Chiefs. Tebow’s presence had clearly helped the run game as the Broncos have dominated on the ground by using the option.

3. Carson Palmer's arm strength: There are no worries, folks. Palmer may not be the 2006 version of himself, but he can still fling the ball. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he was 4-for-4 for 146 yards on passes of 21-plus yards in the Raiders’ win at San Diego. He threw the ball long at ease. Expect him to continue to shine in that area as the season progresses.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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