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Thursday, October 30, 2008
Where AFC West teams need improvement

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is one area each AFC West team needs to improve upon this weekend from their previous game

Denver:

Run defense: The Broncos were beaten badly against the run against New England in their last game, Oct. 20. Journeyman Sammy Morris looked like Walter Payton. The Broncos couldn't make any key stops in the running game against New England and that has been a problem dating back to last season. Now, the beleaguered Broncos have to deal with the Dolphins and their Wildcat offense. The Denver run defense hasn't been equipped to stop familiar run attacks, what's going to happen Sunday?

Kansas City:

Pass rush: This just isn't a week-long problem for the Chiefs. They have lacked a pass rush for the entire season. Remarkably, Kansas City has registered just four sacks this season. The Chiefs are dead last in the NFL in that category.

Four sacks?

That's beyond brutal. The Chiefs are giving themselves very little chance to succeed without having a capable pass rush. The team traded Jared Allen, who led the NFL in sacks last season, to help rebuild the team and that wasn't a terrible call. But the Chiefs sure do miss Allen's ability rush the passer.

Oakland

Rush offense: This was supposed to be Oakland's strength prior to the season. The team has Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. But it has struggled at times, especially Sunday at Baltimore. Fargas had 24 yards on 12 carries and McFadden was inactive with a toe injury.

McFadden still may be hampered Sunday against Atlanta and Bush hasn't been getting many carries. Thus, it may be up to Fargas to give the Raiders a spark on the ground. Fargas is working his way back from a groin injury and perhaps the rust will be knocked off and he can revert to his 2007. The Raiders need him to because they will not compete without a solid run game.

NOTE: San Diego is on a bye this week.