Round 1 Matchup: Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans
2014 Topps Valor #9 Montee BallPlayer: 3 Probably should be a 2, but it wasn't all that long ago that people were after his cards.
Design: 4 Valor may be my favorite set of 2014. I love the artistic look of it, large logo, and knight-like flag in the background.
Photo: 3 Grass stains. Grass, dirt, and/or blood should be present on all football cards.
2014 Panini Contenders #96 Jake LockerPlayer: 3 See Player Note above.
Photo: 2 Jake Locker back to pass...wonder if he got the ball off.
Final Score: Denver 15, Tennessee 13
Round 1 Matchup: New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
2015 Topps Chrome X-Fractor #65 Julian Edelman
Player: 4 I'm not big Edelman fan; in fact, I feel he is a bit overrated. But he is productive.
Design: 3 I don't like this year's Topps flagship design. Something about it seems futuristic to me. It's better in Chrome, I'll give it that. No bump in design for this being an X-Fractor. I collect shiny refractors, but I really don't like the busy blockiness of X-Fractors.
Photo: 3 Good action shot. Will the Lion defenders run him down?
1990 Pro Set #477 Webster SlaughterPlayer: 3 Slaughter, I believe is a bit underrated. Not too many people seem to remember him now, but he was a pretty good receiver in his day.
Design: 2 I actually like the simplicity of Pro Set's design. But the Browns colors will kill anything.
Photo: 4 Great shot of a fingertip catch along the sideline.
Back: 3 Simple design, loaded with a bio. In fact, the bio is probably longer than it should be on most Pro Set cards.
Final Score: New England 15, Cleveland 14
Round 1 Matchup: Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams
1996 Playoff Trophy Contenders #20 Barry Sanders
Player: 5 I may be a Packers fan, but I still hold to it that Barry Sanders is my all-time favorite player. What an electrifying talent!
Design: 4 I don't recall if this card was high-end in the mid-90s. I don't think so, but the marble and trophy background sure makes it feel that way.
Photo: 4 Every time I see a picture of Barry with his butt parallel to the ground, I believe that a defenders is about to need his ankles taped.
Extra: 1 I have this thing where I think it's cool if a card number matches the uniform number. DING, DING, DING! It happened here.
2015 Topps Chrome Refractor #74 Nick FolesPlayer: 2 It sure didn't take Foles long to prove his unworth.
Design: 4 As I mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of this year's Topps design. But an extra point is awarded to the refractor.
Photo: 3 I'm sure this pass fell incomplete somewhere.
Final Score: Detroit 18, Los Angeles 14
Round 1 Matchup: Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints
2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars Statistical Standouts #SS14 Stephen DavisPlayer: 3 Stephen Davis was a beast for a short while. I wish he could have kept it up longer.
Design: 3 It's not terribly interesting, but it could be worse. The field numbers on the side just seem a little out of place on a red card. What are they doing there?
Photo: 4 Running backs with the ball are always exciting photos to me.
Extra: 1 This card gains a point for the inclusion of leather. This kind of relic is so much cooler to me than a piece of jersey worn at some odd event. The extra point is lost however, as the card points out that Washington lost the game when this ball was used. I mean, the team won eight games that year and Davis rushed for over 1,300 yards. This couldn't have been his only good game of the season, and there were plenty of wins to choose from. C'mon, Leaf! But then the extra point is gained back because, IT'S A LEATHER PATCH OF FOOTBALL!!
2012 Rookies & Stars #89 Mark Ingram
Player: 3 A couple more years like this past one, and Mark Ingram will deserve more than a 3. Right now, though, he's just trying to dig himself out of the hole of being a bust.
Design: 3 This one of the best Rookies & Stars designs. Clean, interesting lines at the top and a simple foil stamped name on the bottom, leaving the rest for good photography.
Photo: 4 See the photo comment above.
Back: 2 It's basically a repeat of the front picture with minimalistic information and stats.
Final Score: Washington 16, New Orleans 15