Midday AFC West notes

Brian Dawkins has made quite an impact in his first season in Denver both on and off the field.

Known as one of the most inspirational players in the NFL, the former longtime Eagle was named the Broncos’ Ed Block Courage award winner by his Denver teammates. The award is given to players for exemplifying a commitment to sportsmanship and courage.

  • Oakland punter Shane Lechler’s excellent season is coming to an end and he is close to Sammy Baugh's punting average record. Baugh averaged 51.4 yards a punt in 1940. Lechler is averaging 51.1 yards a boot. It is Lechler’s best average in his career.

  • Oakland coach Tom Cable said he thinks the 5-10 Raiders would have made the playoffs if the team received average quarterback play throughout the season. That is a big shot at JaMarcus Russell. Yes, Russell was horrible, but the Raiders have had many more problems this season than just shoddy quarterback play. Also, this is an indictment of Oakland’s leadership. If he feels this way, why didn’t the Raiders make the move to bench Russell much earlier in the season?