Thursday, March 24, 2022

Card Madness 2022: Pt. 5 (The Sweet Sixteen Kickoff)

Now that the first round is done, we are down to the Sweet 16 NFL teams. Half of the teams are already gone; who will survive to move on to the quarterfinals? Let's have a quick reminder of where we stand before we move start this round.

Round 2: Los Angeles Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts

2013 Panini Prizm Decade Dominance #10 Eric Dickerson vs. 2008 Upper Deck #82 Reggie Wayne


This is a matchup between two great offensive players. Eric Dickerson is in the Hall of Fame. Reggie Wayne should be (and probably will be someday). Dickerson has the edge, though, because he was a bigger superstar than Wayne in their respective playing days. As I've mentioned in one of the earlier matchups, I like the clean design and excellent photography on 2008 Upper Deck, but Decade Dominance is an insert set that I love. I think it's a great concept. I like the write-ups on the back. And it is pulled off well. Overall, the Rams take this matchup.
Winner: Rams

Round 2: Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos


1991 Pro Set #52 Thurman Thomas vs. 2016 Donruss #86 C.J. Anderson


Two running backs from two different eras, but one is far greater than the other. Player-wise, Thurman Thomas crushes Anderson. Card-wise, I like 1991 Pro Set's look with the no-border, double-color banner at the bottom. 2016 Donruss is play on an old Donruss set that I can't stand--the red, paint-spattered script of 1990 Donruss baseball. With the team color borders, the 2016 iteration is a marked improvement. Both cards feature the running back carrying the ball, but I like the how the Thomas card shows a pack of Giants chasing hopelessly. Thomas loses a point because it highlights a Super Bowl that his team actually lost, but gains the point back because it shows a photograph and a blurb about a specific play.
Winner: Bills

Round 2: Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants


1989 Pro Set #561 Herschel Walker vs. 2019 Donruss #183 Alec Ogletree


This one is intriguing. At first glance, I would say the Giants win on the strength of an outstanding picture of a defender celebrating in the end zone with the ball. Did he score, or run to end zone after coming up with a turnover? (He did not score in this game against the Titans, but he did come away with one pick.) However, a closer examination of these two cards tilts back toward the Vikings. Herschel Walker was a quality player. But that's not why this card is interesting. It's the "Trade" banner that draws attention to quite possibly the most important trade in NFL history: the 1989 Dallas fleecing of Minnesota, acquiring 8 draft picks and some players from the Vikings for Walker. The draft picks were used to launch the Cowboys dynasty of the 1990s. And here is a card commemorating the deal from the Vikings side. They lost the trade, but they won this matchup of two good cards.


Winner: Vikings


Round 2: San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns


1998 UD Choice #459 Ty Detmer vs. 1984 Topps #58 Ozzie Newsome


Last round, the Browns got past the Steelers on the strength of a Ty Detmer card. This time they face-off against his representation of the 49ers. Detmer is a strong card; 1998 UD Choice (no longer Collector's Choice) has a bright design, but it's not by favorite of the brand. I enjoy the three trivia questions on the backs, though. Newsome is a good challenger, however. 1984 Topps has a bright, bold design of its own, especially considering its era and its predecessors. Both cards have unusual photos--training camp for Detmer and a bench for Newsome--that make them interesting. Going by looks alone, this is about a draw. I love Ty Detmer, but I can't claim he is as legendary as Ozzie Newsome. Detmer goes down to great Newsome card this time around.

Winner: Browns

That gets us through half of the Elite 8. Tomorrow we'll finish this round and narrow the field down to eight.


  1. Looks like Leonard Marshall has a hand on Walker. Walker ended up playing for the Giants toward the end of his career. The Ogeltree card would be better if the photo wasn't cropped off-center.

  2. Pro Set's choice of photography is almost up there with Upper Deck's.

  3. Look at Ty secretly helping the Browns to move on :)