Travis Kelce is getting the recognition that he deserves:

Photo credit: Elsa / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is a rich man after inking a 5 year 46 million dollar contract. Kelce has been one of the top tight ends in the pro football ranks after he finished his collegiate playing days at Cincinnati. The 3rd year pro had 5 touchdown receptions during the 2015 season. He also hauled in 875 receiving yards which are very impressive numbers for a tight end. Kelce is certainly one of the Chiefs best offensive weapons and he serves as a great target for Alex Smith. Whether it’s a crossing route or a playaction pass Kelce did a great job of providing big plays for this offense. He has 10 career touchdown passes and the rate that he score touchdowns will definitely grow in the near future. As long as Kelce doesn’t get hurt he has a bright future in this league. Tight ends are so valuable because they serve as a safety net for quarterbacks. The throw to a tight end is a lot closer than to a receiver on the outside. When a tight end and quarterback have good chemistry it can yield big returns for the passer and that is what the Chiefs hope to continue by inking Kelce. Travis Kelce is a better receiving tight end than he is a blocker. He is faster than a blocking tight end and that is why he is often able to beat defenders and deliver big plays. In his best game of the year which came against the Houston Texans. He showed exactly what he could do playing at an optimal level. In that game Kelce recorded 2 touchdowns and 106 receiving yards. The Chiefs are hoping the frequency of those big games improves in the future, which it should. Players tend to get better with experience and he still is a young guy at only 26 years old. The Chiefs made the right move by re-signing this guy. If they want to compete in 2016 they need to retain and add weapons for Alex Smith. This was the first step.

Charity of the day: Troops Need You

Go donate! troopsneedyou.com

Aaron Donald is on the right path but not quite JJ Watt status yet:

Photo credit: Michael Thomas

Author: Jon Kuzma

Aaron Donald got it right when he said he isn’t on JJ Watt’s level yet. The second year player for the Los Angeles Rams has been getting compared to the Houston Texans defensive end but acknowledges himself that the comparisons aren’t fair yet. To be honest Aaron Donald is already one of the games best interior defensive lineman. Donald consistently draws double teams and can drive opposing offensive lineman deep into the backfield. That frees up Donald’s teammates to scrape and make plays from sideline to sideline. Don’t believe the hype surrounding Donald? The former Pittsburgh Panther has 11 sacks in just two years of NFL action. When you take into account that he is a defensive lineman and not a defensive end. You can begin to understand the pass rush that he is bringing as a player. To be fair Donald is extremely talented against the run as well. The guy can single handedly make an impact that very few players in the National Football League can. The Rams have a cornerstone on that defense in Donald and he makes everyone around him better as well. Defensive backs have better stats playing with a player like Donald because he can put pressure on the quarterback and cause them to make ill-advised throws. Jeff Fisher has to be ecstatic to have a guy like this on his defense. Now with the Rams moving to Los Angeles, a guy like Aaron Donald will be a great sell for the Los Angeles market. If Donald can block out the LA noise and keep doing what he has done up to this point of his career. Good things are coming for Aaron Donald in his 3rd season. Expect him to get better with time and continue to make a tremendous impact. If he keeps up at the pace he has been at. He will certainly be in the conversation with JJ Watt sooner or later.

Charity of the day: Troops Need You

Go donate! troopsneedyou.com

Ted Ginn Jr. had a break out year in his 9th season:

Photo credit: Ronald C. Modra / Sports Imagery

Author: Jon Kuzma

Ted Ginn Jr. the speedy kick returner and wide receiver out of Ohio State University has always been a dynamic special teams player. He has taken 4 punts and 3 kick returns to the house during his 9 year career. Yet at the receiver position Ginn struggled to make a true impact at the NFL level compiling only 11 touchdown receptions in his first 8 seasons. However in his 9th season which he decided to play in Carolina, Ginn had his best season ever as a receiver. Ginn managed to haul in 10 today passes during the 2015 season. He was clearly one of Cam Newton’s favorite weapons and he did a great job of providing a spark to the Panthers offense. It’s very rare that you seen player make such strides so late in their career. Yet if you’re Ginn you just have to be happy that the production came at all. Up until this year the most touchdowns Ted Ginn ever had in a season was 5 touchdowns. That was two years ago when he played with Cam Newton in Carolina. Last season he left the team and played with the Arizona Cardinals and didn’t record a single receiving touchdown. It was clear that in 2015 the Panthers needed Ginn’s production and Ted Ginn needed to play with Cam Newton. A guy that knew his capabilities and how to utilize his skills and talents. Could you imagine the Panthers having to make do without Ginn when Kelvin Benjamin went down? The team might not be in the Super Bowl right now if they didn’t get Tedd Ginn Jr. back plain and simple. You have to give credit to the guy for sticking around the game and always getting in where he fits in. He truly deserves all of the success that he has had over his 9 year career.

Charity of the day: Research to Prevent Blindness

Go donate! www.rpbusa.org

Bears could lose Forte and Jeffery after a poor 6-10 season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Chicago Bears finished in 4th place in the NFC North division during the 2015 season. The Bears struggled at times offensively especially when Jay Cutler was out of the line up. When Cutler returned and was playing at a high level the Bears managed to have a little success. Still with the team lacking in talent it doesn’t matter what schemes head coach John Fox implements. Things just aren’t going to work out at the end of the day. Unfortunately for the Bears things might not be getting brighter anytime in the future either. That is unless some serious moves are made by the front office. The Bears are on the verge of losing Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery to free agency. Moves that would spell disaster for a team that struggled  offensively with those two unique talents in 2015. While Forte is getting old for NFL running backs, he still is the Bears best option. Forte has stated publicly that he would like to remain in Chicago. Yet in today’s era many times athletes just say the right things to the media and let their agents handle the business. Will Forte be playing for another team in 2015? It’s hard to say. Maybe the running back is telling the truth and will do whatever he can to stay in Chicago. Then again maybe he is ready for a change of scenery and would like to play for a team that is more of a competitor. At 30 years old the most a good general manager would offer him is a 2 year contract. It’s better to have a youthful running back on the come up rather than an old running back on the decline. Truthfully it’s easy to see Forte leaving for greener pastures. That is just the way the NFL works today. As for Jeffery, it’s likely he may leave as well. After the passing offense struggled in 2015 Jeffery’s talents could be better suited in a more explosive offense. You have to understand that players want to play for a true contender unless they are paid an absurd amount of money. The Bears have so many spots to fill to be successful that they might be better suited going for prospects rather than marquee players. The recipe for success in this league is landing good young talent and developing it. Trading Jeffery or Forte for draft picks last season could of helped lead towards that path but the Bears were reluctant to pull the trigger. Now both players may walk with nothing in return for the team. It will certainly take some magic to get this team back north of .500. It doesn’t look like that will happen in 2016 unless some trades and good acquisitions are made. Don’t count on it.

Charity of the day: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Go donate! ww5.komen.org

The Buffalo Bills have a winner in Tyrod Taylor:

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley recently came out and stated that the Bills haven’t ruled out drafting a quarterback. While you have to respect Whaley’s effort to find a franchise quarterback. It still would be a mistake to draft a quarterback because the Bills have found a legitimate player in Tyrod Taylor. The former Virginia Tech quarterback was slow to develop with the Baltimore Ravens. However that all changed when he got to Buffalo. Taylor started to show glimpses of what he could be and the prospect was rather promising. Rex Ryan immediately realized that there was something there with Taylor and gave him the nod as the starting quarterback. While the Bills only finished the season with a 8-8 record. Taylor himself had a fantastic year earning himself a Pro Bowl bid. The achievement came after Taylor threw for 20 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. That careful precision and ability to limit turnovers showed Taylor can be more than an effective quarterback at the pro level. It showed he can be a dynamic player that can threaten opposing defenses in a number of different ways. Whether it be with his feet where he rushed for 568 yards and 4 touchdowns or with his arm throwing for 3,035 yards. It’s clear to see, Taylor is a highly effective dual threat quarterback who has seen a massive development over his 5 year career. While it’s easy for the Bills to discuss potentially drafting a quarterback. The team would be very foolish to do so and even talking about something like that could alienate Taylor. The Bills would be much better off adding talent around Taylor and giving Rex Ryan a more complete roster to compete with. Even though G.M Doug Whaley is saying “we might draft a qb” to the media, don’t buy it. There is a lot of gamesmanship that goes on with the draft. Sometimes teams will try to scare other teams away from the guy they really want to draft. So that less people want to take that particular player. At the end of the day don’t expect the Bills to draft a quarterback.

Charity of the day: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Go donate! ww5.komen.org

How can the Cowboys become relevant again?

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys had a disastrous 2015 season which seen team finish with a 4-12 record on the season. While the team had a down year, it was more so because of injuries than because of lack of talent. Both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant were injured early on in the season. It’s hard to win when the two biggest stars in Dallas are sidelined. That resulted in the team slipping too far into a hole early on and there was really no saving the season. In order for the Cowboys to get back to their 2014 success, the team will first and foremost have to get Tony Romo back on the field. This team drops off significantly when Romo is out of the line up. Believe it or not Romo is an exceptional player despite the criticism he ofter receives. This year clearly exemplified that. However the Cowboys must figure out an insurance policy for Romo in case he is injured again. Romo has a history of being injury prone and the Cowboys don’t want to find themselves in a similar situation as this year should Romo be seriously injured again. Jerry Jones has stated the team is willing to take a “risk” at the back up quarterback position. Almost subtly hinting towards the team’s interest in Johnny Manziel. Regardless of who they bring in, they just need someone who can keep this team in ball games with their number 1 QB out of games. This year the team wasn’t even competitive with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel filling that role. Whether it is Manziel, RG3, or another young signal caller in that back up role. They have to keep the level of play somewhat competitive. Maybe a better option would be taking a rookie quarterback in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft. Whatever method the Cowboys use to acquire that back up quarterback isn’t as important as landing a guy who can play. The Cowboys should also get a huge benefit from having Dez Bryant in the line up the whole year next year. The Cowboys have a great offensive line, but without weapons on the edges to provide points the team will struggle. Bryant is that explosive player who can change the outcome of games single handedly. So getting him on the field for 16 games will be a huge uplift for this team. With a solid draft and free agency this team could be right back in the hunt. Especially when you combine that with the team healing up. Don’t expect Dallas to stay down for too long.

Charity of the day: In Defense of Animals

Go donate! www.idausa.org

Port Huron Snow Removal: Port Huron Michigan

Port Huron like most cities in Michigan will experience large amounts of snow from time to time. There are several companies that help with the Port Huron snow removal efforts. For example J and R Lawn Service also helps with snow removal during the winter time. Additionally Rock N Wood Supply Yard, and Cut N Trim Landscaping both specialize and snow removal services. Of course you could trust the local kid who is going door to door to shovel your snow. The job might not be great but then again you’re helping out a young kid and a sense of community is something that is lacking in today’s era. It’s always nice to give back to the neighborhood whenever you can and Port Huron will be a better place if more people take up this mindset. When it comes down to Port Huron snow removal is another task that needs to be taken care of but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Trust one of the companies above to help take care of your drive way and side walk that way you will be good to go in no time. Also keep in mind winter will be over before you know it and spring will help you get out of your mid-winter funk. Soon those solstices will become equinoxes and you will have a whole new mindset. Just remember to take care of yourself to the best of your capabilities and remember who pointed you in the right direction when it comes to Port Huron snow removal. That’s right it was your friends at endzoneblog.com and we have all your NFL football updates. That way you can always keep an eye on whats going on in the greatest sports to known to man.

Planning the next move: How New England will have to regroup

Photo credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New England Patriots were the sure bet to repeat early on in the season. That was before the team suffered a list of injuries to some key players on their roster. Getting those players back will be huge for the Patriots efforts next season. Yet there is several other moves that have to be made if the Patriots want to get back to the Super Bowl. First and foremost they need to retain most of the players on their roster. Turnover can create inconsistency for a football team. While keeping a group together causes growth. If the Patriots do their best to keep all the unrestricted free agents from leaving Foxborough. Then add players through the draft and free agency they will have a legitimate shot of being back in the big game like they were last year. The team has already tried to cure one of their playoff problems by firing their offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo. The offensive line was clearly the problem in the Patriots loss to Denver and Belichick sent a message to his team that mediocrity is unacceptable. That position group (offensive line) will surely be addressed in the draft, free agency, or via trade this offseason. If the Patriots want to be great again they must give Tom Brady time to operate. They also have to establish a running game. Which was non existent against the Broncos defense. Maybe adding a marquee running back will be the answer for this team. After watching Legarrette Blount and Dion Lewis go down with injuries. The last thing the Patriots want to do is find themselves in a position like they did this year where Tom Brady finishes a playoff game as the leading the rusher for the team. Believe it or not New England is at its best when they are balanced. Something they were not in this postseason, which was big reason for their letdowns. The other thing the Patriots will have to do is get back to their two tight end sets. Using Gronk and Chandler works well for the Patriots offense. They could of kept Chandler or another tight end home to handle that Broncos pass rush as well. If this team can get back to doing the things that made them successful there is no doubt they can be back in the Super Bowl hunt. At the end of the day it will take calculated moves, something the Patriots are very familiar with.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

Go donate! www.oneacrefund.org

Palmer picked the wrong time to have a letdown:

Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Carson Palmer had a terrific regular season. The quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals finished the regular season with 35 touchdowns and 4,671 passing yards. Only to have it all come crashing down in the NFC championship game when he threw 4 interceptions and lost 2 fumbles. 6 total turnovers for one player will leave a bad taste in Palmer’s mouth. Even though Palmer had one of the worst games of his career. The defeat falls on all of the Arizona Cardinals shoulders not just Carson Palmer’s. That was echoed by coach Bruce Arians after the loss and believe it or not the coach is right. The offensive line didn’t do a good enough job of protecting Palmer and the players around the quarterback didn’t make enough plays. Still you can’t have 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in the postseason and expect to keep advancing. It’s safe to say Palmer’s efforts weren’t very convincing. Big time players make big time plays in big games. Carson Palmer has to remember what it takes to have success in the postseason. The stakes are higher and the bar is raised. If the stage is too big for Palmer maybe coach Arians will have to go a different direction. So while the team had a complete letdown, personally Palmer failed as well. Palmer now has decided that he will skip the Pro Bowl to heal up his injured finger. A move that is expected due to the lack of player interest when it comes to competing in the event. When you add in the injury as well it’s a common occurrence to see a player opt out of playing in the Pro Bowl. The Honolulu showdown could of been a time to build Palmers confidence back up. Instead he will decide to rest up. We will see how the move pays off for him.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

Go donate! www.oneacrefund.org

Panthers roll past the Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC championship game:

Photo credit: Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Carolina Panthers were just too much for the Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers high octane attack had the Cardinals on their heels for all four quarters of the game. Cam Newton did a great job of coming out early and setting the tempo for this Panthers offense. Cam threw for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns in the contest. He also rushed for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns. Showing why he is such an effective dual threat quarterback. On one particular rushing play Newton had the touchdown in arms length range before he decided to jump up and go over the top of the defenders. Newton came crashing down into the end zone but the play did a great job of highlighting just how much fun Newton has while playing the game. He got up all smiles after that particular play and that attitude is almost infectious to teammates. Everyone from the top to bottom has fun on this Carolina roster, and they have fun when while they play the game. That approach has resulted in a 15-1 regular season and Super Bowl appearance during the postseason. Showing that the team might have stumbled upon the formula for success. Defensively the Panthers were sound all night as well. They forced Cason Palmer not only to throw four interceptions but they also caused the Cardinals quarterback to lose a couple of fumbles as well. It’s hard to win the game when you have six turnovers from one player. Luke Kuechly was able to intercept one of those Carson Palmer passes and return that interception for a touchdown. We’ve seen Kuechly make plays like this before and he was a big part of why the defense was successful. The defensive line also deserves some credit as well. They did a good job of pressuring Palmer and forcing him to make ill-advised decisions. It’s safe to say the Panthers dominated in every facet of the game. They will head to the Super Bowl as the clear favorites to win the game. It will be up to Cam Newton and company to get it done one more time. It won’t be easy against that tough Denver defense.

Charity of the day: National Osteoporosis Foundation

Go donate! www.nof.org

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