Needs improvement

December, 31, 2009
12/31/09
4:45
PM ET
The following is an area each AFC West team needs to improve during Week 17:

Denver, the final moments: The Broncos have lost the past two games, to Oakland and Philadelphia, in the final minute and by a total of four points. If the game against Kansas City goes to the final minutes, the Broncos, who are playing for their playoff lives, have to make the big play that they failed to do in the past two games.

Kansas City, sacks: The Chiefs need to finish the season strong in the pass-rush department. They have 20 sacks this season, which is the second fewest in the NFL. Still, Kansas City has twice as many sacks as it had last season when it set an NFL record for fewest sacks in a season with 10. There is improvement, but 20 sacks in 15 games is not good enough.

Oakland, stay composed: The Raiders were penalized 13 times for 126 yards in a 14-point loss at Cleveland. Two players, cornerback Stanford Routt and tight end Tony Stewart, were ejected. Not every penalty called on Oakland was a clear-cut foul, but the Raiders need to clean up Sunday against Baltimore.

San Diego, run defense: The Chargers were pretty good against the run at Tennessee, even though Chris Johnson ended up with 142 yards. San Diego made the big plays when it had to. But stopping the run has been an on-and-off issue for the Chargers all season, so they need to use the final game as a playoff tune-up and improve in the area.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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