AFC West news and notes

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here are some observations from the action thus far in the AFC West:

* Raiders kick returner Johnnie Lee Higgins acquitted himself with a 93-yard kickoff return. It could keep him in business in Oakland, Higgins struggled and he lost a fumble last week Oakland's claimed Justin Miller from the Jets on waivers this week. And he will do some returning as well. That could help keep him employed in Oakland.

* Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell finally seems to realize that he needs get the ball to tight end Zach Miller. He had four catches for 67 yards Miller is one of the Raiders' best offensive players and he needs to get the ball more.

* Denver rookie running back Peyton Hillis scored two touchdowns in his first game as the starting tailback.

* After handling Michael Turner for much of the game, Denver's battered defense allowed Turner to score on a 28-yard run in the fourth quarter. The Falcons star running back was a Denver killer as LaDainian Tomlinson's backup in San Diego.

* Late in the fourth quarter, Larry Johnson has 18 rushes with Kansas City. It's more than what was expected after he sat out the last four games on the bench. It is interesting that Kansas City is working Johnson in this new spread offense as much as it has.