Wednesday, October 27, 2010
How I See It: AFC West Stock Watch
By Bill Williamson
1. Denver Broncos: Yes, the whole dang team. The entire club has to be embarrassed after Denver was beaten 59-14 at home by the previously 2-4 Oakland Raiders, who were playing their backup quarterback. Losing by 45 at home is a horrible experience for a franchise that can hover for the rest of the season. Denver is 2-5 and you have to wonder if it can bounce back from this type of traumatic defeat.
2. Josh McDaniels, Denver coach: McDaniels deserves his own category this week. While the entire team has to take accountability, McDaniels was in charge of preparing the Broncos for the game. The nature of the loss is ultimately his fault. McDaniels has been a whipping boy on Denver talk radio this week and after this historic defeat, he deserves the heat.
3. Richard Goodman, San Diego wide receiver: Every receiver remembers his first NFL catch. Goodman surely won't forget his first catch, but for all the wrong reasons. The undrafted rookie made a nice grab on a 25-yard pass from Philip Rivers. Goodman looked like he belonged in the NFL. Then he simply left the ball on the grass -- without being downed by a New England defender. The Patriots jumped on the ball. It was a critical turnover in a three-point loss for the Chargers. The first thing that will keep a player off the field is dumb mistakes. Goodman will be lucky if he’s in the Chargers’ game plan anytime soon after that gaffe.
Darren McFadden rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-point rout of the Broncos.
1. Oakland Raiders: Yes, the whole dang team. The Raiders deserve major props for what they did at Denver. Teams just don’t win by 45 points on the road. This was a tremendous team effort. For a franchise rich in tradition, it was Sunday's game that set the Raiders' all-time single-game scoring record. A lot of the credit goes to coach Tom Cable. He had his team prepared for this game after a poor showing in San Francisco the previous week. Times have been tough for Oakland in recent years, but the Raiders showed great life in this win.
2. Thomas Jones, Kansas City running back: The veteran is showing why the Chiefs made him a priority this offseason. Jones had 125 yards rushing in the Chiefs' win over Jacksonville on Sunday. He had a 70-yard run in the game. Jones and Jamaal Charles are leading the best running game in the NFL. This is a big reason why the Chiefs are 4-2 and have the look of a team that will be in the playoff picture all season long. Jones is giving this offense a toughness it didn’t have in the past.
3. Antwan Barnes, San Diego linebacker: The Chargers have been looking for a new pass-rusher since they determined that the soon-to-be released Shawne Merriman couldn’t be counted on to stay healthy enough to be a factor. Barnes may be that player. He has two sacks Sunday against New England and he showed a great pass-rush burst all game. The former Raven and Eagle was signed during the season because of injuries at linebacker. Barnes showed that he has a chance to be an impact player on passing downs for the Chargers.