Anyway, on to the Elite 8 matchups here. Here is a link to the bracket, so you can see the progress. And here are the matchups:
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
- Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
- Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 3 Matchup: Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
2012 Topps #14 T.Y. HiltonPlayer: 4 Very talented receiver, should be a star in the league soon enough.
Design: 3 Maybe I'm just partial to it because it's the first I collected when I got back into the hobby a few years back, but I like design on the bottom with the team logo in the middle. As is usually the case with flagship Topps, the name could stand to be a bit bigger.
2008 Upper Deck Star Quest Rainbow Red #SQ14 Fred TaylorPlayer: 4 Fred Taylor never did get the recognition he deserved, probably because he always seemed to be injured. But I look at his career and think, "What would it have looked like if he had stayed healthy?" The guy rushed for almost 12,000 yards and only played two complete seasons. The 4.6 yards per carry is incredible over a 13-year career.
Design: 4 I like these Star Quest cards, and the red parallel is even better. For some reason, the red contrasts beautifully with teal of Jacksonville, plus Taylor in black pants makes for a great color combo. The swooshing X in the background is great, too.
Back: 3 The colors are great on the back, too, and the X shape continues to the side of the blurb. Excellent look.
Final Score: Jacksonville 17, Indianapolis 15
Round 3 Matchup: Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
2014 Topps #356 Jadaveon ClowneyPlayer: 3 He should probably be lower, based off of actual NFL production, but I still remember Clowney crushing that Michigan running back. I'm waiting for that beast to make an appearance at the pro level.
Photo: 2 This picture baffles me. What exactly is going on here? My guess is tip drill, but it's an odd choice for the guy's rookie card.
2014 SAGE Hit #144 Derek CarrPlayer: 4 Carr has fared quite a bit better than his 2014 classmate, Clowney. In this pairing of last year's rookies, Carr has shown himself to be the superior player. A good draft for quarterbacks in all, but Carr has huge potential.
Design: 2 It tries to be really cool, but it just doesn't work. Part of the problem is logo being photoshopped out. The green is too overwhelming; it feels like a solid color. But wouldn't the throwing picture be better as the feature and the helmetless portrait the smaller inset?
Photo: 3 See above.
Back: 3 The green works better as the back of the card than an all-green front.
Final Score: Oakland 15, Houston 13
2012 Prestige Connections #2 Matthew Stafford/Calvin JohnsonPlayer: 4 Calvin Johnson deserves a 5. Matthew Stafford, not so much. At least they're on the same team. It drives me crazy when two-player cards are from different teams. How am I supposed to categorize that? I need to categorize that!
Design: 3 It's simple, but it works. There is some white space that could be trimmed to make more room for bigger photos.
Photo: 3 Two good action shots.
Back: 2 It's upside-down. Maybe it's just me, but I always put my horizontal cards so the bottom faces to the right. But then this card is upside-down. Am I in the wrong here?
2008 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia #84 Adrian Peterson
Player: 5 Three rounds, three Adrian Peterson cards. I swear I actually have other Viking cards.
Design: 4 Nice looking design. Gold foil without overdoing it. Good use of team colors.
Back: 2 It doesn't even mention his rookie year? The guy who won ROY and Pro Bowl MVP honors as a rookie. It gives an interesting fact about his Heisman finish as a true freshman, but it seems odd that a historic rookie season gets no mention on a 2nd year NFL card.
Final Score: Minnesota 17, Detroit 15
Round 3 Matchup: Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2007 Bowman #250 Laurent Robinson
Player: 2 Not much to see here.
Design: 2 Too much border takes up the card. I don't like the horizontal lines within the border. And the cursive font is difficult to read.
Photo: 2 It appears to be an in-game photo. That's all I have.
Back: 2 Some good info, but the back feels too crowded.
Condition: 2 A couple of corners are slightly rounding, but not horribly so.
2012 Panini Momentum #175 Mark BarronPlayer: 2 Not a strong player matchup in this round. Barron hasn't lived up to his high draft status.
Design: 4 Love this design. The subtle checks in the background, the team name up the right side. Simple black and gray-scale. This is a high-end card.
Photo: 3 Not a bad practice action shot.
Back: 3 There's a new picture, a short bio, and another high-end interesting design.
Condition: 2 One corner isn't as sharp as it could be.
Extra: 1 Autograph. That's worth something. And it's serial numbered to 399.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 15, Atlanta 10
So we are moving on the to the Final Four with the Jaguars, Raiders, Vikings, and Buccaneers. Stay tuned for the next installment. Thanks for reading!