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Monday, November 3, 2008
Around the AFC West


Posted by ESPN .com's Bill Williamson

Around the AFC West:

Denver
The rookies played well in Denver's loss to Miami.

My take: The Broncos have a very strong rookie class. They aren't the ones making mistakes. First-round pick Ryan Clady (left tackle), second-round pick Eddie Royal (wide receiver/returner), fourth-round pick Jack Williams (cornerback), sixth-pound pick Spencer Larsen (special teams/fullback), seventh-round pick Peyton Hillis (fullback) and undrafted players Wesley Woodyard (linebacker) Brett Kern (punter) have all made fine contributions. Clady, Royal and Hillis were particularly good against Miami. It's a very promising group.

Kansas City
Tyler Thigpen played well again Sunday.

My take: Maybe this guy has a chance. Maybe. He's a playmaker, he's tough and confident. Thigpen has made great strides in the past two games and if he can continue steady improvement, the Chiefs may have something on their hands. I know this is a bold statement but Thigpen reminds me of somebody: Drew Brees. He just makes plays.

Oakland
One Bay Area columnist says the current Raiders are the worst team in franchise history.

My take: Come on, settle down. Yes, the Raiders are bad. And they are getting worse as the season progresses. But what did you expect? This team has been lousy for the past five years. Since the start of the 2003 season, the Raiders have won a league-low 21 games. They've been horrible. The only difference is there were high expectations in Oakland for his team because Al Davis spent so much money. But holes in key areas remain unfilled. Are the Raiders really bad? Yes, they are. Is it any worse than 2006 when the team was 2-14 under Art Shell? Probably not.

San Diego
Ron Rivera has quite the background.

My take: The Chargers are handing their defense over to a legitimate football man. In fact, for an interim coaching change, I don't think San Diego could have down better. Rivera has a great background as a player as a defensive coordinator. He has won in both roles. He's a quality coach and he deserves this opportunity to turn around the Chargers' defense.