AFC West: Leon Washington

Moving on: San Diego Chargers

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
2:00
PM ET
Here are some areas San Diego needs to focus on after a 27-20 loss at Seattle:

Recap: The Chargers fell to 1-2 and continued their early-season malaise with a sloppy loss at Seattle. Like in Kansas City in Week 1, the Chargers made numerous miscues in a winnable game.

Biggest area to fix: The coverage teams are horrendous. Seattle’s Leon Washington had two kickoff returns for touchdowns. That’s how Seattle won the game. San Diego now has allowed three return touchdowns in three games -- a frightening average.

Biggest area to build on: The passing game is in high gear. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for a career-high 455 yards. You can’t say the absence of Vincent Jackson is the reason why this team is 1-2.

What to watch for: The Chargers have played their final September game of the season. That’s a good thing. San Diego is 6-8 in the month under Norv Turner. The Chargers have a very winnable home game against Arizona in Week 4. The Chargers must take advantage of the matchup.

Wrap-up: Seahawks 27, Chargers 20

September, 26, 2010
9/26/10
10:42
PM ET
What it means: The Chargers’ September woes continue. San Diego is now 6-8 in September under coach Norv Turner. After playing very well against Jacksonville, San Diego was sloppy at Seattle and the Chargers are now 1-2 and wondering why their early-season woes continue.

Injuries of note: Linebacker Shawne Merriman left with a calf injury and guard Louis Vasquez was carted off with a knee injury. If these two players miss an extend period of time, it could hurt San Diego.

Trending: San Diego is playing very poorly on special teams and is handing the ball over on offense. Seattle's Leon Washington had two returns for touchdowns, which was the difference in the game. San Diego has allowed three returns touchdowns in three games. The Chargers miss Kassim Osgood, now in Jacksonville, badly. After being sloppy with the ball early in last week’s game, San Diego committed five turnovers Sunday. If these two trends continue, the Chargers will have difficulty winning on a regular basis.

What’s next: San Diego plays a very winnable game Sunday when Arizona visits. The Chargers then go to Oakland in Week 5. San Diego has to get well in these two games or it could be in some trouble.
Occasionally, us blog networkers come together and have a brainstorming session.

This week, we pitched ideas about the best bets from our receptive divisions on the restricted free agent market. The following are some restricted free agents who could fit in the AFC West:

Denver

Rob Sims, guard, Seattle, fourth-round tender: He weighs 312 pounds. Denver wants to get bigger on the interior line.

Marcus Spears, defensive end, Dallas, second-round tender: He’d be a solid addition at end in Denver’s 3-4 scheme.

Kansas City

Atari Bigby, safety, Green Bay, second-round tender: Bigby is solid and the Chiefs, who have two second-round picks, need help at safety.

Domenik Hixon, receiver/returner, New York Giants, second-round tender: He could help Kansas City on offense and special teams.

Leon Washington, running back, returner, New York Jets, second-round tender: If healthy, he could be a nice fit.

Oakland

Barry Cofield, defensive tackle, New York Giants, second-round tender: He’d reunite former Giants line coach Mike Waufle in Oakland. I like this fit.

Troy Smith, quarterback, Baltimore, fifth-round tender: He is likely going to be on the move. Why not reunite him with Hue Jackson in Oakland and throw him in the quarterback competition?

San Diego

Jerious Norwood, running back, Atlanta, second-round tender: He has big talent. San Diego needs a running back badly. The only hitch is the Chargers may rather use their second-round pick on a player from a deep rookie running back class.

AFC West Pro Bowl voting update

December, 3, 2008
12/03/08
9:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here's a fan voting update on the Pro Bowl. Fan voting accounts for one-third of the final tally with players and coaches making up the other two-thirds.

Here are the AFC West players who are currently in the top five at their respective positions:

Quarterback

3. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos, 417,462

My take: Cutler fell to third and San Diego's Philip Rivers fell out of the top five.

Running back

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers, 351,222

My take: Tomlinson stayed in third place despite gaining just 24 yards on the ground against the Falcons on Sunday, his second-lowest rushing output of his career.

Wide receiver

1. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos, 325,907

My take: Marshall is leading a very strong group.

Tight end

1. Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs, 297,926
2. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers, 270,921

My take: Gonzalez stays in first place and he should. He is playing as well as he ever has.

Center

5. Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers, 87,736

My take: Hardwick is barely staying in the top five.

Cornerback

1. Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos, 218,339
3. Antonio Cromartie, San Diego Chargers, 145,691
4. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, 140,701

My take: Bailey has stayed atop the voting despite missing seven week with a groin injury. He should return this week and he should end back up in Hawaii.

Kicker

5. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders, 60,625

My take: Janikowski slipped from No. 4 to No. 5. That botched fake field goal against Kansas City could not have helped his cause.

Punter

1. Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders, 80,796

My take: Lechler routinely represents the Raiders in the Pro Bowl and it wouldn't be a shock if he makes it again.

Kick returner

1. Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers, 101,798

My take: Sproles is a star and he deserves to go to Hawaii, but the Jets' Leon Washington will challenge him.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

It extends a few more weeks, but here's a fan voting update on the Pro Bowl. Fan voting accounts for a third of the final tally with players and coaches making up the other two-thirds.

Here are the AFC West players who are currently in the top five at their respective positions:

Quarterback

2. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos, 373,487
5. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, 293,334

My take: Rivers fell to fifth place. He'll need help to get in.

Running back

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers, 307,521

My take: Tomlinson dropped from second to third behind Ronnie Brown and Chris Johnson. I still say he will make the team.

Wide receiver

1. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos, 285,955

My take: Marshall is leading a very strong group.

Tight end

1. Tony Gonzalez 244,601
2. Antonio Gates 232,841

My take: Last week, Gonzalez was second and Gates was first. But Gonzalez continues to have an outstanding season and he deserves to be first at this point.

Center

5. Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers, 76,559

My take: Hardwick could have difficulty making the Pro Bowl this season.

Cornerback

1. Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos, 188,594
3. Antonio Cromartie, San Diego Chargers, 124,714
4. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, 111,247

My take: I still say Asomugha should be leading the conference in voting. If he doesn't make the Pro Bowl it would be an injustice.

Kicker

4. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders, 52,294

My take: Denver's Matt Prater fell out of the top five. He has missed half of his last 10 attempts so he deserved to fall.

Punter

1. Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders, 66,391

My take: Lechler routinely represents the Raiders in the Pro Bowl and it wouldn't be a shock if he makes it again.

Kick returner

1. Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers, 88,985

5. Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos, 43,358

My take: Sproles is a star and he deserves to go to Hawaii but the Jets' Leon Washington will challenge him.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

It extends a few more weeks, but early Pro Bowl voting is out. Fan voting accounts for a third of the final tally with players and coaches making up the other two-thirds.

The following is the positions where the AFC West is represented in the top five of voting:

Quarterback

2. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos, 308,166 votes
4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, 258,681

My take: I wouldn't be surprised if both Cutler and Rivers advanced to the Pro Bowl. Both players are having big years.

Running back

2. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers, 263,584

My take: Tomlinson is not having a very good year because of injuries. But this isn't a very good year for running backs in the AFC, so he has a chance.

Wide receiver

1. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos, 232,234

My take: I'm surprised Marshall is leading the voting. The third-year player is worthy of a spot but there are some big names that he has passed in the fan voting thus far.

Tight end

1. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers, 195,580
2. Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs, 191,648

My take: If an AFC West tight end should be leading the fan voting, it should be Gonzalez. He is having a very solid season. Gates is getting it together in recent weeks after dealing with the effects of off-season toe surgery. Gates has a chance to be a Pro Bowl but he shouldn't be ahead of Gonzalez right now.

Center

5. Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers, 67,711

My take: Hardwick is a good player who is coming off an injury. The Chargers' offensive line isn't playing great in the run game and Hardwick could have difficulty making the Pro Bowl this season.

Cornerback

1. Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos, 153,765
3. Antonio Cromartie, San Diego Chargers, 104,958
4. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, 79,408

My take: Asomugha should be leading the conference in voting. If he doesn't make the Pro Bowl it would be a shame. Teams throw his way an average of once a game this season. Bailey has been injured for the past month, but I can see him getting in. He was having a fine season. Cromartie has been both hurt and ineffective.

Kicker

4. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders, 43,606
5. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos, 41,103

My take: Neither AFC West kicker will likely make it. Both Janikowski and Prater are having decent seasons, though.

Punter

1. Shane Lechler, Oakland Raiders, 51,832

My take: Lechler routinely represents the Raiders in the Pro Bowl and it wouldn't be a shock if he makes it again.

Special teams

5. Kassim Osgood, San Diego Chargers, 38,573

My take: Osgood made the Pro Bowl last season. His best chance is to be voted in by the coaches and players.

Kick return

1. Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers, 79,522

My take: Sproles is the real deal and he deserves to go to Hawaii but the Jets' Leon Washington will challenge him.

Chargers, Jets trade late scores

September, 22, 2008
9/22/08
11:25
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- The Chargers are just about to ice this game. We think.

After Brett Favre led the Jets to nine points to put the Jets within two scores, Philip Rivers continued his great game with a long pass to Vincent Jackson to set up a touchdown.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who looks good despite a toe injury, scored from two yards out to give the Chargers a 45-23 lead.

The Jets responded with another long Leon Washington kick return that led to a quick touchdown to pull to 45-29 with just over three minutes remaining.

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