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AFC West hot seat

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Philip Rivers, one of the best players in the AFC West, and in the NFL this season, goes on the AFC West hot seat.

Rivers has to play well for San Diego in a critical game Sunday in London against New Orleans.
In their final game before the bye week, the Chargers can't afford to drop to 3-5. With Denver showing clear signs of falling apart at 4-3, the Chargers can start to make their move. But they have to show some consistency. After a loss in Buffalo on Sunday, the Chargers had to make the long trip to Europe and they are spending a week in the spotlight in London. San Diego has to keep its focus.

It is up to Rivers, San Diego's leader, to keep his team focused. It is also up to Rivers to play well against New Orleans and Saints' quarterback Drew Brees. Rivers, of course, was chosen to be the Chargers' quarterback of the future over Brees prior to the 2006 season. There will be pressure on Rivers to show the NFL that the Chargers made the right call as well as pressure for Rivers to play better than he did Sunday at Buffalo. Rivers made two late turnovers in the 23-14 defeat.

Thus, there are many reasons for Rivers to be on the hot seat heading into this international game. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.