Wednesday, September 19, 2012
AFC West Stock Watch
By Bill Williamson
Peyton Manning’s sharpness: Yes, Manning finished strong in a loss at Atlanta. He nearly brought the team back from a 20-0 deficit. But the truth is, Manning fueled the Falcons’ big lead. He threw three interceptions in the first quarter. He looked completely out of sorts. The fact that he settled down is a good sign, but the three interceptions were the story of his first loss as a Bronco.
Darren McFadden: McFadden has not been effective in the first two games. He had just 54 yards on 26 carries. There has been a lot of chatter that McFadden is not a good fit for the Raiders’ new West Coast offensive scheme. Whatever the issue is, McFadden needs to get in gear.
Romeo Crennel: The Chiefs’ head coach is his own defensive coordinator. His unit is struggling. The Chiefs have allowed 75 points in two games and they are not playing up to an NFL standard. Yes, the Chiefs have dealt with injuries, but they need to do a better job under Crennel.
Norv Turner: The Chargers are 2-0 under Turner for the first time since he became the Chargers’ coach in 2007. San Diego has traditionally started slowly under Turner. But he has his team clicking well after two games this season.
San Diego’s defense: The Chargers are building an identity on defense. They are aggressive, fast and physical. They have improved dramatically on third down and they are playing winning football.
Chargers’ depth: Depth has been an issue in San Diego for the past few years. San Diego general manager A.J. Smith made it a point to improve depth throughout the roster this year. It has paid off. Sunday, in a 38-10 win over Tennessee, backup tight end Dante Rosario scored three touchdowns and backup running back Jackie Battle scored two touchdowns. Both free-agent pickups were playing because of injuries.