Around the AFC West

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Tight end Tony Scheffler is a big part of the Broncos' offense.

My take: Scheffler is a key. He gives Denver a special element. The Broncos have a great blocking tight end in Daniel Graham. He is capable of making catches. But Scheffler can move the chains on a regular basis. He and quarterback Jay Cutler are close off the field and they have a special chemistry. Scheffler is a game-changing headache for defensive coordinators who have plenty of other things to worry about when dealing with Denver's offense. Scheffler makes Denver's offense special.

Kansas City

This is an important time for the Chiefs' linebackers.

My take: Things are changing. Derrick Johnson is moving from outside to middle linebacker. Rocky Boiman is taking his spot. The Chiefs are looking to remake their linebacker crew next season. It will likely have two openings and the team would like to see Johnson make the transition to the middle to take care of that spot. The Chiefs will have many positions to address in the offseason. Linebacker will definitely be one of the priority positions along with the offensive and defensive lines. This is just the beginning of the change.


The Raiders are entering a house of doom Thursday night.

My take: The Raiders have lost 10 straight games to San Diego. It is tied for the longest current streak of dominance in the NFL. The Raiders don't have much to play for the rest of the season. But if they can beat the Chargers and erase the streak it will be another step for Oakland as it tries to escape the harsh grip of six seasons of misery.

San Diego

A.J. Smith said it will be a busy offseason in San Diego.

My take: We didn't expect major changes, but we didn't expect a 4-8 record, either. At this point, expect the changes to revolve around players. Areas where there could be change include the offensive line, linebacker and perhaps at safety. It's early but changes are coming in San Diego -- it has to. Teams that go from the AFC Championship Game to a 4-8 start just can't stand pat.