NFL: Five Things I Know For AFC West; Tom Cable On Hotseat, Chiefs Overrated

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst ISeptember 18, 2010

After week 1, we fans and media alike love to throw up opinions, speculation and "challenges," and hope that one will stick throughout the course of the season, even if, few ever do.

My favorite example ever was when the Carolina Panthers started the 2001 season by defeating the Minnesota Vikings, before the Panthers finished the season with a 15 game losing streak.

Some might call that an anomaly. 

I say that it is proof that Week 1 in the NFL is always over-rated.

Here are the Five Things I'm sure of in the AFC West after Week 1:


5). If anything, the heat in Jacksonville helped both Denver's Kyle Orton and Jacksonville's David Garrard. 

The heat in Jacksonville between the Broncos and Jaguars was an issue.  And both quarterbacks had productive performances: Garrard threw three touchdowns, while Orton threw nearly 300 yards. 

Defensive backs running around in hot weather all day tend to make mistakes.



4). San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is a hot-head, which isn't a good quality for a quarterback.  When the quarterback loses his cool, the rest of the team will too. 

In a funny twist, I wanted the Raiders to select either Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers in the 2004 draft. 

In college, Rivers threw side-armed, which reminded me of then Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon.  Aside from the fact that throwing motion can be over-analyzed (that's you Tim Tebow), Rivers now seems more like the Gannon at the 2002 Super Bowl, in which I described Gannon as, "a psychotic bobble-head doll."

The Chargers can't expect to contend for the Super Bowl when the quarterback can't keep himself contained.


3). I like what I have read about Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. 

After the loss to the Titans, Campbell committed himself to improving his game, rather than telling the media about the mistakes of other players.  Campbell easily could have shifted blame to rookie center Jared Veldheer, but did not do so. 

After the 2009 season of JaMarcus "Pop Rocks" Russell, whom often looked like his eyes were not on the wide open wideout but instead on the snack table, I think every Raider fan can appreciate a quarterback that voluntarily puts the load on his shoulders.



2). If the Oakland Raiders lose to the St. Louis Rams, the Raiders won't be in the postseason. 

It's just that simple. 

If and only if the Raiders lose, I do believe that a change at coach would be in order.  Current coach Tom Cable should be demoted at least.

Losing to the Rams would only reveal the inevitable: Cable would have to go.  I realize that changing coaches during the season usually means that the season is over.  But yes, the Raiders hope for the postseason will be DOA if they lose to the Rams.


So why delay the inevitable?

The Raiders offensive-line is still a work in progress, but that progress so far is unacceptable, because the o-line is Cable's area of expertise.

The Raiders were gashed by big plays (which has been a running narrative in recent seasons), which means that the Raiders must make some of their own.

The Raiders should put more emphasis on returning punts and kicks.  Rookie Jacoby Ford is one of the fastest players in the NFL.

Aside from the 76-yard run for a touchdown, the Raiders contained Tennessee's Chris Johnson. Yet, Johnson has big runs time and again against many teams, so is that a reflection of poor play by the Raiders, or just how good Johnson is?


Steven Jackson of the Rams lacks the speed and explosiveness of Johnson, thus the Raiders have no excuse to be gashed by Jackson.


1). The sports media is jumping on the Kansas City bandwagon as quickly as possible.  Yet, several things must be noted in the Chiefs defeat of the San Diego Chargers on Monday night. 

San Diego has been notoriously slow starters.  If it wasn't for ole Pop Rocks looking like a deer in the headlights in 2009 (when the Raiders and Chargers opened on Monday night), the Raiders also would have defeated the Chargers.

Return specialists often burn out.  Rookies Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster look like a dynamic duo, but I think most opponent's know that outside of those two, the Chiefs lack any true difference makers.  Thus, opponent's will contain them.

Matt Cassel did not pass over 100 yards, yet threw two touchdowns to rookie Tony Moeaki. 

Often times, there will be rookies that wow the NFL in the early weeks and then disappear throughout the course of the season.  Why?  Once the opponent prepares for those players, they easily find the weaknesses.  And since hot-start rookies are often egotistical, they don't improve their game and get frustrated once they've been negated.

Unless the Chiefs can prove they can consistently throw the ball, defenses will simply stack the middle to stuff tailbacks Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.