AFC West Stock Watch

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
8:00
AM ET
FALLING

Philip Rivers’ ball security: What was more stunning Monday night, Peyton Manning’s play in the second half or Rivers'? While Manning was doing his part in an eventual 35-24 Denver win (the Chargers led 24-0 at the half), Rivers was doing his part in a terrible San Diego loss. He committed five of his six turnovers in the second half and two of those the five turnovers turned directly into two Denver touchdowns. Rivers was improving in the turnover department this season, but he is heading the wrong way.

The Brady Quinn bandwagon: Many Kansas City fans were excited to see what Quinn could do when he started for the injured Matt Cassel. Quinn didn’t do much in his first start since 2009. He threw two critical interceptions and the Kansas City offense failed to score a touchdown for the second straight game, a 39-10 loss to Tampa Bay. The two are now competing for the job, but Quinn’s performance did nothing to show he deserves to be the Chiefs’ starter when Cassel returns from a concussion.

Oakland’s progress on penalties: The Raiders cleaned up their penalty issues nicely in the first quarter of the season. It was paramount because Oakland set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage in 2011. On Sunday, however, Oakland committed 12 penalties for 102 yards. It shows Oakland is still not out of the woods when it comes to penalties.

RISING

The Denver Broncos’ stature: The Broncos and the Chargers are tied for first place in the division at 3-3. But the Broncos have to feel good about themselves after a tremendous comeback. This team has been outstanding in the fourth quarter as it is outscoring opponents 79-6. Also, Denver’s schedule is easing up. Its first six opponents have combined for 20 wins. Its final 10 opponents have a combined 19 wins.

Oakland’s pass defense: Much credit to Oakland’s pass defense is deserved after its performance at Atlanta in Week 6. Oakland entered the game atrocious in the area. But it battled all game and caused Matt Ryan to throw three interceptions. It was Oakland’s first three interceptions of the season.

Chatter that this is the NFL’s worst division: We have two three-win teams and two one-win teams. The eight combined victories by this division is the fewest combined of any division in the NFL. To make matters worse, the 1-5 Chiefs are No. 32 in the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings this week.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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