Wednesday, October 13, 2010
How I See It: AFC West Stock Watch
By Bill Williamson
1. Steve Crosby, special teams coach, San Diego Chargers: San Diego head coach Norv Turner has said Crosby will not be fired because of his unit's follies and the issues may not all be Crosby's fault, but the truth is, his unit is killing the Chargers. Despite the fact that San Diego is the No. 1-ranked offense and No. 2-ranked defense in the NFL, it is 2-3. The reason: San Diego has allowed 30 points on special teams in three losses. It's getting ridiculous, especially after Sunday's performance in which Oakland scored nine points on two blocked punts in the first five minutes of the game.
2. Oakland Raiders' pass defense: Lost in the thrill of Oakland's stunning win over San Diego was the fact that the Raiders were savaged by Philip Rivers. Rivers threw for 431 yards. He had 380 yards at the end of the third quarter. That has to be cleaned up. Oakland has the No. 31-ranked run defense. If the pass defense, which is ranked 10th, falters, Oakland will be in big trouble.
3. Kansas City Chiefs' third-down offense: Kansas City converted one of 10 third-down plays in a 10-point loss to the Colts, wasting a fine defensive effort. The Chiefs have to learn to extend drives and find the end zone. Kansas City had to settle for three field goals in the game. This is a team on the rise, but it has to find a way to keep drives alive.
Quarterback Jason Campbell helped guide the Raiders to a victory on Sunday.
1. Jason Campbell, quarterback, Oakland Raiders: Campbell showed his new team he can make plays to help it win. Campbell spelled an injured Bruce Gradkowski and led Oakland to two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 35-27 win. After playing terribly in his first six quarters in Oakland, Campbell redeemed himself in his second chance.
2. Kansas City Chiefs' defense: Usually teams are not excited after 10-point defeats, but the Chiefs should be encouraged after losing 19-9 to the Colts, even though it was the team's first loss. Romeo Crennel's defense made Colts quarterback Peyton Manning work for what he got.
3. Malcom Floyd, receiver, San Diego Chargers: Floyd showed why the Chargers' offense is ranked No. 1 without holdout receiver Vincent Jackson. Floyd had 213 yards receiving against Oakland. He is growing as a No. 1 receiver. He is fast and he can make the impossible catch. Floyd and Rivers can be a special combination.