Topps RCs From AFC South Legends
Welcome to the AFC South! Over in Houston, the Texans and their fans are rounding up rookie cards like they’re rounding up cattle. The Colts gallop through the fields in Indianapolis, and every card snag feels like a winning touchdown. Jag fans are prowling down in Jacksonville, showcasing their treasured cards, while up in Nashville, Titans fans are tuning their guitars and collections to hit the right chord. We’re exploring the iconic rookie cards from each of these lively teams.
1998 Topps Chrome #165 Peyton Manning RC
Topps Chrome always had a special place in collector’s hearts, no matter the sport. The 1998 edition of its football release featured several prime pieces, including the 1998 Topps Chrome #165 Peyton Manning RC. Not only did “The Sheriff” live up to the hype surrounding his spot as the No. 1 selection, picking up four MVPs and two Super Bowl titles, but he’s in the running for “greatest player of his era,” having set a multitude of NFL records. This might be the most important rookie card in the division. Happy Hunting!
1995 Bowman’s Best Refractor #3 Steve McNair
If McNair had accepted a scholarship from the University of Florida as a running back, who knows if we’d ever be telling this story? The Mississippi native instead followed his dreams of slinging passes, choosing to attend Alcorn State, an HBCU that allowed him to flourish behind center. The signal-caller went on to be the third pick of the Houston Oilers, who later moved to Tennessee, changed their names to the Titans, and watched McNair become a three-time Pro Bowl selection, the QB behind their 1999 Super Bowl appearance and the youngest player in league history to record 20,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards. Rest in Peace to a legend.
2011 Topps Platinum Rookie Refractor #86 J.J. Watt Auto RC /1,550
The 2011 Topps Platinum Rookie Refractor #86 J.J. Watt Auto RC has a print run of 1,550 and is one of his only on-card autographs from 2011 products. We have yet to get to his accolades. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year destroyed opposing gameplans on Sundays, topping 100.0 sacks, forcing a whopping 27 fumbles, and taking his place as one of the 10 most disruptive defenders ever to lace ’em up. Canton awaits.
1995 Topps #222 Tony Boselli RC
The Hogs usually don’t get love in the trading card game. But every hog wasn’t created equal. The second pick of the 1995 draft and the first-ever pick by the Jaguars, Boselli kept Jacksonville’s quarterbacks cleaner than a new pair of Air Force 1s, manhandling defensive linemen on his way to five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro appearances in just seven seasons.
Baddest in the Game: AFC South
1979 Topps #390 Earl Campbell RC
Earl Campbell’s thunderous entrance into the NFL – topped the league in rushing yards in each of his first three seasons – set the league ablaze, positioning him as arguably the most bruising ball carrier in its storied history. Defenders weren’t just tasked with tackling Campbell; they had to endure the punishing blows he delivered with every powerful run. This relentless style and meteoric start, paired with the scarcity of trading cards issued for him during his career, catapulted his 1979 Topps card to immense popularity, making it one of the most sought-after football cards of the last 35 years.
PS: If you haven’t had one of Earl Campbell’s Bratwurst, you better get to it. Amazing.
The top Topps RCs from NFC South Legends