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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
How I See it: AFC West Stock Watch

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Posted by ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson

Falling

1. Chargers’ home record: Qualcomm Stadium used to be a tough venue to visit. No more. After losing to Denver Monday night, the Chargers are 6-5 in their last 11 home games. That is inexcusable for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. There is no way the Chargers can be successful if they can’t protect their own house.

 Turner
2. Norv Turner, Chargers coach: Turner is one of the most scrutinized coaches in the league. When his team struggles, the call for his head immediately starts. We are on high alert in San Diego after the Chargers have dropped their second straight game to fall to 2-3. San Diego is 3.5 games behind Denver in the AFC West standings. It has started poorly for the third time in three seasons under Turner. Whether it is warranted or not, the movement for Turner’s firing will increase.

 Heyward-Bey
3. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders receiver: Overshadowed in a big win for Oakland is the continued lack of progress by the No. 7 overall pick in the draft. Heyward-Bey had no catches for the fourth time this season. He has two catches this season. He did have a drop, though, Sunday. Heyward-Bey was considered a huge reach when the Raiders took him and he has done nothing so far to prove otherwise.

Rising

 Royal
1. Eddie Royal, Denver returner: Until Monday, Royal was known much more for his receiving skills then for his returning ability. Now, though, Royal's returning skills are being lauded by the country. That is what happens when you return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns on "Monday Night Football."

Royal had a kickoff return of 93 yards and a punt return of 71 yards in Denver’s 34-23 win over San Diego. It was the sixth time since the merger in 1970 that a returner pulled off the double return whammy.

 Miller
2. Zach Miller, Raiders tight end: Miller had six catches for 139 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown catch in Oakland’s upset win over Philadelphia on Sunday. Miller, with the blocking help from rookie receiver Louis Murphy, turned a 10-yard catch into the big score.

Miller, who had 15 catches in the first five games, is the favorite target of Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell. When Russell can get the ball to Miller, good things can happen.

 Succop
3. Ryan Succop, Chiefs kicker: The rookie kicker was a major reason the Chiefs broke a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season.

Succop, the last pick in the April draft, accounted for 12 of Kansas City’s 14 points. He had two 46-yard field goals and displayed the power leg that intrigued the Chiefs prior to the draft.