AFC West mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Mail call ...

Forbes from NYC: Bill - I am curious why most commentators are refusing to take the Broncos seriously. Granted the Raiders looked shabby on Monday, but the Broncos play calling and execution would have shredded any secondary. Also with the problems the Chargers have been having the Broncos should seriously be considered as a strong bet to win the AFC West. Forbes

BW: I didn't hear the telecast because I was there. It is difficult for me to understand why anyone wouldn't praise Denver for that performance. It was dominant on both sides of the ball. I heard a lot of people saying that Oakland was too terrible to give Denver praise. But any time a team wins by 27 points they are doing something right.

Ray from Oakland: Do you think it will be possible for the Raiders to have a bounce back week against the Chiefs ?
BW: Sure I do, Ray. The season is not lost for Oakland. They were just blindsided. Granted, it was a terrible start and it makes you wonder if the Raiders are ready to compete. But Kansas City is young and is not starting its first-string quarterback. The Raiders have a chance. Let's put it this way: If Oakland is hammered in Kansas City then it is time to worry.

Freddy from San Diego: There's been a lot of talk about Merrimans knee and how his health will be a big factor in San Diego's defensive productivity, but is it possible that the 4 game suspension of Stephen Cooper is harming the bolts defensive unit way more then anything?
BW: It's an interesting point. With Merriman now out for the year, the team will be missing two starting linebackers for the next three weeks. That will hurt. But Cooper will be back soon. He is an underrated player and his presence will be big for San Diego.

Chartguy from Nederland. Co: Is Jarvis Moss another first-round bust for the Broncos? I don't believe he even played last night.
BW: Moss did not play Monday night. He was healthy and he was inactive. That is a terrible sign for the No. 17 overall pick in the 2007 draft. It is too early to call Moss a bust but the team was expecting a lot from him this year after he was injured much of last season. But he has started slow. There will be some better matchups for Moss and he will be active for some games. But the No. 17 overall pick should be a good matchup for every team.

Lawrence from San Jose: With the addition of DeAngelo Hall and Gibril Wilson, the Raiders secondary was supposed to be good enough that they could use the blitz to get a pass rush. The Raiders had absolutely no pass rush against the Broncos. Is Ryan not applying enough pressure, or are the Raiders just not talented enough on defense?

BW: No, the Raiders didn't blitz much but the Denver offensive line was dominant. This is an area Oakland must improve on soon or the season could get away from this defense.

Rick from KC: BW, in light of the petrified rock in Pat Surtain, who got torched twice at Foxboro, by second stringer Cassell will the Chiefs look for some serious DB help?

BW: Probably not but expect an expanded role for fifth-round pick Brandon Carr very soon.

Tony from San Diego: Hey Bill, I sent this last week and will ask again. Is John Lynch still unsigned? If so do you think he would be a good fit in San Diego? We have young safety's and I'm not sure he would want to back up a 2nd year safety but could possibly start if Weddell struggles. We could use his leadership back there for our playoff run.

BW: Yes, he is still unsigned. Many folks thought he'd sign back with New England or maybe go to the Jets. So far, though, Lynch remains on the street and he could announce his retirement. San Diego has not shown any interest in Lynch in recent weeks.

Thanks and keep them coming.