AFC West Stock Market: Week 5

Broncos safety T.J. Ward (left) had himself a helluva week. Meanwhile, Raiders RB Latavius Murray did not.

The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. One team that lost by several touchdowns the week before can follow up with a blowout victory. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the next.

With Week 4 in the books, let’s take a look at three AFC West players who saw their stock rise, and three AFC West players who saw it fall.

THREE UP

T.J. Ward, safety, Denver Broncos

T.J. Ward was imported from the Cleveland Browns so he could have games like this for the Broncos. He wreaked absolute havoc against Minnesota as a blitzer and dragged Teddy Bridgewater down twice, including a game-sealing sack and forced fumble. He’s absolutely thriving in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ new system.

Philip Rivers, quarterback, San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers derserves a whole bunch of credit for keeping his Chargers together on Sunday. At one point against the Cleveland Browns, his offense was down to two regular offensive linemen and two healthy wide receivers. It didn’t matter — the franchise quarterback played like one with limited tools (358 yards, 3 touchdowns) and earned a win.

Michael Schofield, right tackle, Denver Broncos

Michael Schofield, a second-year offensive lineman, was under immediate pressure against the Vikings. But the second-year Bronco held up on Peyton Manning’s right side all afternoon despite starting in his first career game. He surrendered no egregious sacks against Mike Zimmer’s pressure-packed defense.

THREE DOWN

Latavius Murray, running back, Oakland Raiders

Latavius Murray was the bad kind of difference maker this week for the Silver and Black. He coughed the ball up twice — once on a bobbled catch that became an interception, and again on a bobbled handoff that turned into a fumble. He sat for a chunk of the fourth quarter and watched Roy Helu take his snaps.

Ladarius Green, tight end, San Diego Chargers

Chargers fans might have to face it: Ladarius Green might never be the tantalizing player scouts drooled over a few NFL Combines ago. He could’ve seized a larger role in San Diego through four weeks instead of jumping in and out of the lineup. Now, Antonio Gates is back to reclaim his spot and send Green back to the bench. 

Melvin Gordon, running back, San Diego Chargers

Melvin Gordon had 12 carries for 38 yards against a Browns defense that isn’t exactly known for its great run defense. Meanwhile, fellow rookie and Cleveland Browns back Duke Johnson simply outshined Gordon on his own home turf. And once again, Gordon relinquished key carries to Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver. It was a bad week to be No. 28.

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