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AFC West Whispers

Raiders' Heyward-Bey still underachieving

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Posted Oct. 16, 2010 @ 9:35 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC West:

• After a career-high six-catch game in Week Two, which nearly matched the number of grabs he had all of last season (nine), Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey's production has trailed off. He has just four catches in the past three games. Head coach Tom Cable spoke glowingly about the 2009 first-round pick in the offseason, and he has clearly improved some, but his lack of production is still a major concern.

• While QB Kyle Orton's quick start has led to inflated statistics for his receivers, the one player whose numbers don't jump off the page is TE Daniel Graham. The struggles of the offensive line have forced Graham to stay close to the line of scrimmage. With all the three-WR sets the Broncos have been running, Denver needs Graham for max protection in those sets.

• Chiefs head coach Todd Haley blamed a lack of fundamentals for the Chiefs' Week Five loss to the Colts, as the team had issues catching the ball, blocking and tackling in its first defeat of 2010. Haley said he would have his players put in extra work this past week in these areas, hoping to play more crisply moving forward. He also was very interested to see how his club would bounce back from adversity, as it's something K.C. hadn't had to deal with previously this season.

• Chargers head coach Norv Turner said early in the season that he would decide who his punt returner would be from week to week, but the fact that Darren Sproles has handled duties for the past two games signals that he's the preferred option at the spot. Although word was that Turner might look to Patrick Crayton for a spark, the former Cowboy has returned just two punts, plus two fair catches, all season. Sproles is averaging 7.2 yards on his 10 returns.

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