AFC West Stock Watch

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
1:00
PM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. Excitement over Carson Palmer in Oakland: Whether it is unfair or not, there has to be some worry in Oakland about Palmer. He threw three interceptions in the second half after he was inserted in Sunday’s 28-0 loss to Kansas City. It may not be a big deal. Palmer did not expect to play in the game after just three practice days in Oakland and he hadn’t played since Week 17 of last season. So, the odds were stacked against him. Still, Palmer came to Oakland with the expectations of helping the Raiders win a title. He needs to quickly turn it around.

2. The Crispness of the Chargers’ offense: The Chargers have one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL. However, at the New York Jets, the passing game was in disarray in the second half, the running game couldn’t get going and the Chargers were disorganized during their final drive. There was a sharpness that was lacking.

3. Kyle Boller's future: Don’t expect Boller to be back in Oakland next year. The main job of a backup quarterback is his ability to lead his team to a win when needed. But Boller was awful in his start against Kansas City. The Raiders can’t have any confidence in him moving forward.

[+] EnlargeTodd Haley
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezThe Chiefs have won three straight games since Todd Haley stopped shaving.
RISING

1. The myth of Tim Tebow: In the end, it didn’t matter that Tim Tebow was awful for 55 minutes in his first start of the season. What mattered is his that he led Denver to a wild comeback that ended in overtime. Again, Tebow may have not been good, but he did enough to win when it counted. That will keep him in the job.

2. The power of Todd Haley’s beard: The Chiefs are now 3-3 after starting 0-3. However, since Haley start growing his beard, the Chiefs have not lost and Haley is off the hot seat. He will not shave until his team losses.

3. John Fox’s confidence in Tebow: After the Broncos’ win at Miami, the Denver coach said he saw Tebow make strides Sunday and he expects him to continue to make strides. Fox had always been very measured when talking about Tebow. However, these comments indicate Fox is warming to the quarterback.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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