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Audibles: AFC West Week 5 preview

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers (2-2) at Miami Dolphins (1-2), 1 p.m. ET

LaDainian Tomlinson has said that he shouldn't be judged on his first quarter of the NFL season but for the entire 2008 season.

But Tomlinson does have a disclaimer. He is getting into his groove after being hampered by a turf toe injury since Week 1. So he is going to be back to himself very soon. Tomlinson, who practiced on a Wednesday this week for the first time since being injured, said he is feeling much better and his 106-yard performance at Oakland is evidence he is on his way.

Tomlinson is for sure on his way to another milestone. Tomlinson, in his eighth NFL season, has 10,946 rushing yards in 115 games. If he gets 54 yards against the Dolphins, he will become the player to reach 11,000 career yards in the fourth fewest games. Eric Dickerson did it the quickest, in 103 games.

Not only is Tomlinson about to make history, he has vowed to continue to be relevant in the present.

"I am very close to being back where I belong," Tomlinson said.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-1), 1 p.m. ET

It's all about Tony Gonzalez this week.

Gonzalez is 3 yards from becoming the NFL's all-time leader in receiving yards for a tight end. Three yards.

Yes, this will be Gonzalez's day. And he deserves it.

Gonzalez has been in the spotlight the past couple of weeks because of his comments. Before the Denver game, he answered a question about his future by saying he would consider leaving Kansas City for a contender if the team doesn't make progress in its youth movement.

After the Chiefs' upset win over Denver on Sunday, which snapped a 12-game losing streak, Gonzalez expressed disappointment that he wasn't allowed to break the yardage record at home. Kansas City coach Herman Edwards defended his decision, saying that he didn't want to risk losing the game to get the ball to Gonzalez.

Despite the somewhat sticky situation the past 10 days, Gonzalez is sure to break a major record on Sunday and it will be a great thing for him, the Chiefs and all of their fans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) at Denver Broncos (3-1), 4:05 p.m. ET

To listen to Jon Gruden, he is lucky he only has to face the Denver Broncos every four years.

It doesn't seem like Gruden could handle dealing with Brandon Marshall on a yearly basis. Gruden thinks the Denver wide receiver is one bad man.

"I see too much of Marshall to be honest with you," Gruden said earlier this week in a news conference. "Jumping up over people, running through people, one-handed catches. He is a machine, and the guy is a great receiver. I saw him catch 20 passes in a game, or something like that against San Diego. High balls, low balls, he catches everything and he punishes you after the catch. He is a dynamic football player. He is one of the top guys that I have seen in the league this year."

Here's a warning, coach: Marshall is even scarier in person than he is on film. He has 31 catches, which is tied for the NFL reception lead -- and he has missed one game this season.
Marshall is, indeed, a beast and Gruden gets to see for himself Sunday for the first time.