AFC West: audibles AFC 6
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Tom Cable era begins in the Big Easy.
But is anything ever easy for a Raiders head coach?
Cable is Oakland's' fifth head coach since 2003. The past three Oakland coaches -- Norv Turner, Art Shell (in his second stint as head coach) and Lane Kiffin -- all lost their debuts. Cable is certainly used to losing. He was 11-35 at his alma mater, Idaho, in his previous head coaching post.
Still, Cable had the reputation in the NFL as one of the best offensive line coaches. He is a tough coach who now is in charge of a 1-3 team that is trying to rebound from a turbulent first month of the season.
The Big Easy? I think not.
Think the NFL isn't a week-to-week proposition?
All eyes are on the Denver offense this week. Yes, the Denver defense is off the hook after leading the team to a 16-13 win over Tampa Bay last week as Denver improved to 4-1 and increased its surprising lead in the AFC West to two games. The Denver defense allowed 113 points in the three previous games.
With the Denver defense stepping it up, it's all about the Denver offense. After scoring a cumulative 114 points in its first three games, Denver has scored 35 points combined in the past two games.
The Broncos had just one play for more than 20 yards against Tampa Bay. With receiver Eddie Royal and tight end Tony Scheffler likely out this week because of injury, the Broncos will be challenged even more to display the firepower they displayed in first three weeks of the season.
Yes, in the NFL, it's all week-to-week.
Lost in the Chargers' sea of high-profile injuries and yet another slow start is no small issue: The Chargers' offensive line, one of the best in the NFL, has yet to become a cohesive unit. It, too, has been banged up. And it has shown.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who is nursing sore ribs, has been knocked around the past couple of weeks. Both Oakland and Miami put constant pressure on Rivers.
It's out of character in San Diego, but it's to be expected. Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick is just getting back into the swing of things after having offseason foot surgery. Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill missed two games with a neck stinger and guard Mike Goff missed much of practice last week.
The unit rarely has practiced together. Add the fact that right tackle Jeromey Clary is a new starter and it is no mystery why Rivers isn't having much time.
There have been plenty of trouble spots in San Diego, but the offensive line hasn't had time to work together as it heads into Sunday's game against New England. The Patriots have one of the most active pass rushes in the league.