Cleveland Browns opt to re-sign Jamie Collins to a 4 year $50 million dollar contract:

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cleveland Browns liked what they seen out of line backer Jamie Collin and now the Browns have inked Collins to a 4 year $50 million dollar contract. Jamie Collins came over half way through the season in a trade from the New England Patriots and Collins seemed to mesh well with the direction the Browns are heading. That compelled the front office to work aggressively towards re-signing Collins and this is a great move considering Collins could have left Cleveland in free agency. Now the Browns retain one of their top defenders and that gives Hue Jackson’s defense a much better chance to compete in the future. Collins racked up 69 tackles and 2 sacks in his eight games with the Browns so he certainly showed enough on the field and now Jamie Collins will be on Cleveland’s roster until 2021. At 27 years old Collins should have plenty of gas in the tank to put up some great production for the Browns and make no mistake about it there is a reason the Browns won that 1 game with Collins on the field. He sets a good precedent for the rest of those guys on the defensive side of the ball and clearly that trade worked out for both the Browns and the Patriots. Cleveland has made a lot of adjustments to their roster since Hue Jackson was named Head Coach. Unfortunately those moves haven’t panned out for the Browns and they were the worst team in all of football last year. In Cleveland’s defense they are trying to find their identity as a team but if they don’t get it together soon another regime change could ultimately take place. That’s why they needs players like Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins to get stops defensively and put this team in a position to win games.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

Go donate! www.tmmc.org

New England takes it to the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to win the AFC Championship:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl. New England topped the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to win the AFC Championship and now the Patriots will represent the AFC at Super Bowl 51 in Houston. Tom Brady was exceptional for New England throwing for 384 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. That was a much better day than Roethlisberger’s 314 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception and when you win the quarterback battle you usually win the game as well. Legarrette Blount also ran hard for New England, he finished the match up with 47 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. Chris Hogan was extremely effective catching the ball for the Patriots too. Hogan finished the game with 180 receiving yards and 2 touchdown. Julian Edelman also went over the 100 yards receiving mark. He had 118 receiving yards and 1 touchdown showing why he has been a dynamic player for this offense for a number of years. Defensively Logan Ryan led the way for New England with 9 total tackles. Kyle Van Noy also contributed 4 tackles and 1 forced fumble to the Patriots defensive efforts. Antonio Brown couldn’t break the 100 yards receiving mark for the Steelers. He finished the night with 7 receptions for 77 yards and 0 touchdowns. No Steelers running back or receiver went over the 100 yard mark either. Defensively Lawrence Timmons had a great night for Pittsburgh, he recorded 14 total tackles which was the most in the game for either team. Sean Davis really left it all out on the field for Pittsburgh as well. The rookie defensive back had 9 tackles and 1 sack for the Steelers defense. New England just executed better than the Steelers and they are so much more sound in their adjustments. Nobody is tuned in like Bill Belichick is and there is a reason he is going to 7th Super Bowl (which is a record). We are witnessing arguably the greatest football coach to ever roam the sidelines and he takes this team to new heights time and time again.

Charity of the day: National Park Trust

Go donate! www.parktrust.org

Atlanta routs the Packers 44-21 to advance to Super Bowl 51 in Houston:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Atlanta Falcons were clicking on both sides of the ball today and that’s ultimately why Atlanta was able to defeat the Green Bay Packers 44-21. Matt Ryan had an outstanding performance in the Falcons win. Ryan threw for 392 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in the contest. That really set the tone for Atlanta’s offense and if Ryan continues to play like this the Falcons will have a great shot at winning the Super Bowl. Julio Jones was also absolutely dominant for the Falcons, Jones recorded 180 receiving yards and 2 touchdown receptions. Julio Jones was a complete mismatch for the Green Bay Packers and the Green Bay secondary ended up getting exposed. Mohammad Sanu, Tevin Coleman, and Devonta Freeman all scored a touchdown for Atlanta’s offense as well. They were so dynamic offensively in this match up and that’s why the Falcons were able to put up 44 points. On the defensive side of the ball Atlanta was impressive too. Ricardo Allen continued his strong postseason play with 5 tackles and 1 interception. Keanu Neal was flying around wreaking havoc in the Falcons secondary all day long. Neal delivered a number of big hits and will be a special player in this league for a long time. Rodgers threw for 287 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Those stats tell a better game than Rodgers truly had, he was constantly pressured by the Falcon defensive line and didn’t have the same magic he had when he got the Packers to the NFC Championship game. Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson, and Davanta Adams all caught a receiving touchdown for the Packers offense. Those catches all came in the 2nd half and the game was well out of Green Bay’s hands at that point. Defensively Joe Thomas led the way for the Packers with a team high 7 tackles. Morgan Burnett had 7 tackles as well for the Packers. In the end Atlanta had too much firepower for Green Bay and will represent the NFC at Super Bowl 51 in Houston.

Charity of the day: National Park Trust

Go donate! www.parktrust.org

Tom Brady is playing for legacy, he needs one more Super Bowl victory to pass Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for most Super Bowl wins:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Tom Brady is the most recent quarterback to have 4 Super Bowl wins and he joined Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana when he achieved that feat. That’s a very rare class of company to be held in and now Brady has an opportunity to separate himself from those 2 players should he hoist another Lombardi Trophy at the end of the postseason. Right now there are only 4 teams remaining in the NFL playoffs the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots. Out of those 4 teams you have to like New England’s chances and much of the Patriots success will come down to that offensive line and how much time Brady has to operate from the pocket. New England looked very strong last weekend against the Texans and believe it or not Houston had the best defense in the league during the regular season. That shows how much New England improved collectively as an offensive unit compared to just a year ago and that’s why the Patriots have to be the favorites against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has a very tough offense so the Patriots defense will also have to play an exceptional game. The last thing the Patriots want to do is get in a shootout with the high powered Steelers offense, so New England has to control the time of possession and keep their offense on the field. The less opportunities they give the Steelers offense the more this game will be tilted in the Patriots favor. If the Patriots defense can clamp down the Steelers offense and hold them to under 20 points that will give Brady a chance to work his magic and will this team to a win. From there it would be on to Super Bowl 51 and you have to like Tom Brady’s chances at that point. Brady has built his reputation off excelling on the big stage and there’s no reason to believe he would have a letdown should be make it the Super Bowl in Houston. It’s his commitment, concentration, and sheer will which sets him apart.

Charity of the day: HealthRight International

Go donate! www.healthright.org

The fans in San Diego and Oakland are now experiencing what the fans in St. Louis felt a year ago:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

We live in a world where money rules everything. The all might dollar will even propel an NFL owner to seek a new market where he can optimize profits and maximize sales off “new team hype.” Don’t believe it? Well just look at the Los Angeles Rams who bolted on St. Louis after 20 years of milking Missouri sports fans for all they were worth. As soon as St. Louis showed little promise and a lack of opportunity the Rams skipped town for Los Angeles which has plenty of promise and opportunity. So much promise and opportunity that the San Diego Chargers decided that the L.A market is big enough for 2 teams. That’s right the Chargers bolted on San Diego for greener pastures in Los Angeles. Now the fans in San Diego are stuck without a pro football franchise after supporting the Chargers for 56 years. 56 years of loyalty clearly didn’t mean that much to the Spanos family and now the Chargers are 1 of 3 franchises to relocate in the last 2 off-seasons. The last team that is on the move is the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have been playing in Oakland since 1995 so this is a big loss for the Bay Area. Oakland fans were in the stands every weekend with their black hole apparel on, however the Las Vegas profits were too much to pass up and Mark Davis did what was “best for his football team.” Now Nevada will have their first ever NFL franchise and the Raiders will have a new home. It’s been reported that some of the Raiders players are excited about the tax breaks that come with the relocation. Yet the Chargers Philip Rivers deserves the most praise for how he handled his team moving. Rivers was clearly the player most upset about leaving his former community behind and we need to see more appreciation from our athletes like Rivers showed. Bottom line though the Raiders and Chargers will have a new home in 2017 and the Oakland and San Diego fans got the shaft.

Charity of the day: PAI

Go donate! www.pai.org

The Steelers defense has made strides from last season to this season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a dynamic offense last year in the postseason but they lacked a defense to balance their football team out. Due to that the Pittsburgh Steelers lost in the divisional round to the Denver Broncos, but now a year later the Steelers already find themselves a game deeper than last year heading into the AFC championship. Clearly the defensive upgrade’s the team made in the off-season propelled this defense into a more competitive unit. Which ultimately made the Steelers a better football team as a whole. Now Pittsburgh heads to Foxborough to take on the Patriots and this defense will be tasked with shutting down Tom Brady and the tough New England offense. Rookie Defensive Backs Artie Burns and Sean Davis know they will be a target in this game but both rookies have shown glimpses of promise throughout the season. Burns finished his rookie year with 65 tackles, and 3 interceptions which is a very productive year for a first year player. Sean Davis has had 70 tackles and 1 interception as well so both of these players have seen a lot of action and now both are acclimated to the pro style game. Upfront the Steelers defense needs to have a big game from Stephon Tuitt, Ryan Shazier, Lawrence Timmons, and James Harrison. If all 4 of those players can have a big game that would significantly improve the Steelers chances of victory. Remember Pittsburgh will be without standout Defensive End Cameron Heyward who has been sidelined for a large portion of the season with a torn pectoral. That’s why it’s imperative that Shazier and Harrison can get after Tom Brady, if they can rattle Brady in the passing game Pittsburgh will definitely have a shot. The Steelers also have to eliminate Dion Lewis who scored 3 touchdowns last weekend. If the Steelers can eliminate the running game first and then rattle Brady when he is in shotgun. That’s the recipe for success for this defense, however it won’t be easy at all to execute the Patriots are a solid team.

Charity of the day: PAI

Go donate! www.pai.org

Power Podcast: Episode 3

Photo credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images Sport

Hosts: Jon Kuzma, Chuck Cobb, Nathan Duffy

If the Vikings don’t re-sign Adrian Peterson he would like to play for the Giants, Buccaneers, or Texans:

Photo credit: Tom Dahlin / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Minnesota Vikings have a tough decision to make with Running Back Adrian Peterson. Peterson who is 31 years old will count $18 million dollars against the salary cap if the Vikings want to keep him. Peterson insists that he wants to stay with the Vikings but acknowledged that Minnesota might want to save the cap space and use that money in other areas. Peterson struggled in 2016 only recording 72 yards but keep in mind Peterson missed most of the season with a meniscus tear. Peterson had 1,485 yards in 2015 so if he is healthy he could be a big piece to the Vikings offensive puzzle. However like mentioned above the Vikings could feel Peterson’s age and declining health are too much of a risk and choose to opt out of the deal. It feels like Minnesota will most likely go with the cap room and move on from Adrian Peterson, just because they could use that money on 3 players instead of 1. Peterson expressed interest in playing for the Giants, Buccaneers, or Texans if he isn’t re-signed. Out of those teams Tampa Bay or New York seems like the most likely destinations. The veteran Adrian Peterson would work well next to emerging star Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay. That would give the Bucs more a punch on offense and could actually reignite Peterson’s career. If that happens look out Peterson could play until he is 36 years old. Of course Adrian Peterson could go to the Giants and take any players spot on that roster but keep in mind regardless of where A.P he goes he has to be healthy first and foremost. If that happens we all know what we can get out of Peterson but you have to wonder if he has lost a step after this last injury. He has always been able to come back from these set backs but now he is older and the hits have added up. We will see if Adrian Peterson can prove us all wrong again and reclaim the title of best running back in the NFL? It doesn’t look like he will achieve that feat in a Vikings jersey though.

Charity of the day: Medical Teams International

Go donate! www.medicalteams.org

Who has a better game this weekend Antonio Brown or Julio Jones?

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The league’s best 2 wide receivers are still in the Super Bowl hunt and now we get to see which player Antonio Brown or Julio Jones can have a bigger championship game? Brown and the Steelers are heading to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots for the AFC Championship. While Julio Jones and the Falcons will host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. In order to give their team the best chance to succeed in those big games, Brown and Jones will have to be at their best and guide their respective teams to a victory. On paper it feels like Julio Jones might have an easier match up. Green Bay’s secondary has been sketchy at times this season and nobody on the Packers roster can match up with Julio Jones. Jones had over 1,400 receiving yards this season so Green Bay will have their hands full and Dom Capers has to be having fits trying to figure out how to cover Julio? Antonio Brown is going up against the Patriots which is a much tougher draw. New England is the best run organization in pro football and you know they are going to prepare well to eliminate Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. Malcolm Butler will likely be lined up against Brown and expect Devon McCourty to be shaded that way over top as well. Really Le’Veon Bell has to get going and get the Patriots defense to creep up a little bit. That way Brown can take advantage over top but make no mistake about Antonio Brown is going to get his like he does every game. If you factor in the controversy Brown has had to go through this week with Mike Tomlin and Facebook live streaming his coach. That should make Brown even more hungry to produce in this game and you know Brown will be running his routes a little bit harder this week. Julio Jones has the better match up but Antonio Brown has more to prove because of the week he has had. So we will see this weekend who ends up doing better and whether or not that can get their team over top?

Charity of the day: Medical Teams International

Go donate! www.medicalteams.org

Can the Packers defense rise to the occasion and help Green Bay get back to the Super Bowl?

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense are a force to be reckoned with. However it might be the defense that determines whether or not this team makes it to Houston for Super Bowl 51. The Packers had the 22nd ranked defense in terms of yards surrendered for the regular season. Green Bay was allowing 363 yards per game and that won’t be good enough for the Pack to win the next 2 games. One thing that should be noted about those stats though is the fact that Clay Matthews was banged up and out of action while that stat was compiling. Since Matthews has been back this defense has been noticeably better and hence the 8 straight wins from Green Bay. Still though the secondary has been a week all year and even in the postseason. Green Bay’s defensive backs have given up 4,308 receiving yards this year and only the Saints have given up more. Damarious Randall will be a good player in the future but he has been picked on a little bit the last 2 seasons. Look for Atlanta to try to exploit him in this NFC Championship game and keep an eye on how Randall fairs against the tough Falcons wide receivers. The other key match up for Green Bay is how well can Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers rush Matt Ryan? Matthews and Peppers are Green bay’s best players on the defensive side of the ball and they have to come up big in order to keep their streak (and season) alive. It has to be stated that eventually Dak Prescott started to lock in last week against the Packers defense. The Cowboys offensive line is a little bit better than the Falcons, so we will see if Peppers and Matthews can bring more of a rush against the lesser Falcons offensive front. The Falcons collectively have a much better coordinated offensive as whole than the Cowboys though, so that poses a huge risk to Green Bay’s defense too. Dom Capers is tasked with handling all these defensive match ups and keep an eye on the adjustments he makes to put this team in a position to win games. Those adjustments will be crucial in whether or not the Packers make it to the Super Bowl.

Charity of the day: Doctors Without Borders USA

Go donate! www.doctorswithoutborders.org

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