The 2017 NFL season will be concluded this Sunday when the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles square off in Super Bowl LII. Will the Patriots seemingly unstoppable dynasty add yet another ring to their long list of achievements? Or will the Eagles overcome and upset to create joyous pandemonium in their championship starved hometown of Philly?
Nobody knows for sure what the future holds for these two powerhouse franchises that earned their rightful spot in the big game. With the masses making bold predictions, we wanted to do something a little bit different and break down the two team’s offensive weapons – by evaluating their rookie cards!
Our criteria was simple – we’d judge the quarterback, running back, two wide receiver and tight end positions for both teams based on their rookie cards. In choosing our favorite card from each position, we considered card design, player pose and if applicable – quality of their autograph. To keep things interesting, we chose a different set for each rookie card.
For the QB position, we chose the much coveted Contenders Rookie Ticket as our preferred rookie card for both players. We prefer the overall cleaner design of the 2000 Playoff Contenders set over the busier 2012 Panini Contenders look. Nick Foles‘ pose is perfectly acceptable for his rookie card, but the poise in Tom Brady‘s pose even 18 years ago impressively stands out more. That being said, Foles gains a point over Brady in the autograph category as his autograph is legible, whereas ‘TB12’ has certainly won’t be winning any championships for penmanship. Patriots 1, Eagles 0.
In looking at Dion Lewis and Jay Ajayi’s rookie cards, it was apparent that Topps Chrome was the best set to evaluate that featured the two players. The 2011 Topps Chrome set features a classic bordered style, but we prefer the futuristic appeal of the 2015 Topps Chrome set. We’ll also take Ajayi pictured in a pro uniform over Dion Lewis’s training camp workout gear. Ajayi picks up the three point sweep here with an overall cleaner autograph as well. Patriots 1, Eagles 1.
We wanted to do something different for our wide receivers match up, so we chose Bowman Sterling Jumbo Patches as our platform for our first wide receiver match up. We prefer the design of the 2014 Sterling Jumbo Patch over it’s 2012 counterpart as it features the team logo prominently in the center of the patch. Both receivers showcase a great pose on their respective cards, but Brandin Cooks gets the ‘W’ in this category over Alshon Jeffery as we found the presence of the pigskin fully visible to be more aesthetically pleasing overall. Patriots 2, Eagles 1.
This battle is somewhat of a hodgepodge, as Danny Amendola has very few true rookie cards and none from the same set as Nelson Agholor. For this battle we opted for Amendola’s SP Authentic RC over his Topps Factory Set Cowboys Exclusive RC and for Agholor, we chose his Silver Prizm variation RC. Because the two cards are vastly different in card design, we’re going to omit that category and move on strictly to player pose. Unlike his play on the field, Amendola’s action shot is somewhat forgettable, whereas Agholor’s attentive photo shoot pose makes his Prizm variation RC stand out from the base variation. In a somewhat subjective battle, we’ll give the point to the Eagles to keep it interesting. Patriots 2, Eagles 2.
So it all comes down to this battle between Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz. We like the throwback appeal of the 2013 Score football set over the splattered look of the 2010 Score set. However, the close crop photo on Ertz card is very unappealing, while Gronk’s rookie card features a more traditional on field pose.
We’ve yet to determine a winner in this battle, so we’ll turn to our tiebreaker – rookie autographs! Which one of these TE’s was more proliferate with the pen?
It is safe to say that Gronk isn’t the most well spoken player, but he can certainly sign on the dotted line. Gronkowski impressed us with a full name signature featuring hard, up-and-down, legible lines. Ertz disappoints, omitting the ‘AC’ from his first name and a opting for a sloppy EZ scribble to round out his autograph. Patriots 3, Eagles 2
There you have it folks! If the Super Bowl were to be determined strictly based on rookie cards, we’d have to give the victory to the New England Patriots! Luckily, this battle will be settled on the gridiron this Sunday, February 4th at 3:30PM PST. Be sure to tune in and catch what is sure going to be one great game!
Over on our Facebook Page, we’ll be playing a Super Bowl Pick ‘Em contest that starts this Thursday. Be sure to like our page and be on the lookout for your chance to win COMC store credit!