Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC West [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Four players to watch

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


Denver: Elvis Dumervil, linebacker: Dumervil doesn’t have to repeat his performance against Cleveland and get four sacks at Oakland on Sunday. The Broncos would likely happily settle for two sacks from Dumervil. We can’t say we weren’t surprised by Dumervil’s four-sack performance (that is a big, big day for anyone), but the guy does have explosive pass-rushing skills.

Kansas City: Bobby Wade, receiver: Wade made an instant impact for Kansas City in his first game last week. He has six catches for 72 yards after just one week of practice. He is comfortable playing for Kansas City coach Todd Haley and Haley loves having Wade. Haley coached Wade in Chicago. Expect Wade to continue to be a top option at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Oakland: JaMarcus Russell, quarterback: Let’s give Russell some credit. He led Oakland when he had to at Kansas City last week. But he was horrible for most of the game and he was bad in Week 2. He has thrown 35 incompletions in two games. If this continues, Oakland will not be able to compete, even if the rest of the team continues to play well. Russell has to find a way to become more accurate. It may be difficult against Denver. I could see him struggling with the 3-4 defense for a third straight week.

San Diego: Shawne Merriman, linebacker: Merriman is playing hard and he is trying. But he is not yet back from a knee injury that kept him out of all but one game last season. Merriman will get there, but it may take a while. His pass-rush burst yet isn’t there yet. Expect him to make strides Sunday against Miami, but it could be some time before he is back to his Pro Bowl level.