12 NFL players who need to step up big time

Now that we’re able to start sorting through contenders and pretenders after five weeks of the NFL season, it’s time to focus on players that must step up moving forward. Of those who have legitimate playoff aspirations, certain teams are missing elite-level production from proven stars. That includes a tight end in New England that’s in the midst of the worst stretch of his career. It also includes a dynamic young receiver in Kansas City who has struggled in recent weeks. Over in the NFC: a quarterback in Texas has not proven himself to be the guy, and a frustrated linebacker in Green Bay. These are among 12 NFL players that need to step up big time. Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots Statistically, Gronkowski is in the midst of the toughest stretch of his career. The five-time Pro Bowler is averaging just four receptions for 46 yards over the past four games. Even in an NFL that doesn’t feature tight ends a whole lot, that’s mediocre. For Gronkowski, it’s really bad. The issue here is that def

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