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Thursday, October 15, 2009
AFC West needs improvements

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson


Here are areas each AFC West team needs to improve upon from their performance in Week 5:

Denver -- Early deficit: In the past two games, against Dallas and New England, the Broncos fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter. Of course, Denver came back to win both games. Still, this is dangerous living. The Broncos have been excellent in the final three quarters, but they need to make life easier on themselves and play better in the first quarter.

Kansas City -- Pass defense: The Chiefs would have beaten Dallas if it weren’t for a breakdown in the pass defense. Dallas receiver Miles Austin scored on two long touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and in overtime. Kansas City can’t win if it continues to have those types of breakdowns.

Oakland: Pass more: Even though Oakland doesn't trust quarterback JaMarcus Russell, it can’t win if it only throws the ball 13 times like it did against the Giants. The Raiders, who play Philadelphia on Sunday, could very well fall behind again this week. If so, the team has to, at least, try to throw the ball.

San Diego -- Start fast: The Chargers have struggled by starting slowly all season. But in their last game, in Week 4 at Pittsburgh, it got ridiculous. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 28-0 lead. San Diego roared back to make the score a respectable 38-28. Something will have to give Monday night against Denver. The Broncos have been starting slow lately, too. It’s a perfect time for San Diego to buck its own trend if stumbling out of the gate.