The good news for NFL fans and sports card collectors is that the 2022 NFL season has now begun. The bad news is that this season already has winners and losers. Sports card collectors have been feeling a pinch in many modern cards. There has also been an undeniable reset of collector interest and expectations in an endless sea of base cards and a universe of parallels that is mind-numbing. Quarterbacks are historically “where it’s at” for football card collectors!
The first week does have some good news for some key players who are favorites of fans, collectors and fantasy draft players. It also has some bad news, some of which may be horrible for card values in what’s already a soft market for modern cards.
This review is not meant to predict which QB rookie cards will soar and which cards will be turned into toilet paper in the days, weeks and months ahead. It’s only the first game of the 2022 NFL season and a lot of what will really draw interest for collectors and fans alike may not really kick into overdrive until November or December. There is also a lot of rust these players, particularly those who were routinely kept off-field during the pre-season, have to work through in the coming weeks.
Basic stats and results have been followed by commentary on each top QB and many of the ongoing prospect QBs with cards. Your views and opinions may also vary wildly from these views and opinions. That’s life. Here goes!
Tom Brady is the GOAT and his career stats now look like he’s the football video game deity at 45 years of age. To GOAT collectors, the real stats that matter now are just adding to the wins, yards, and touchdowns. Having 1 interception and 1 sack by the Dallas Cowboy defense won’t kill his collectability. His 18/27 passes yielded a normal 66.7% completion rate and Brady added another 212 passing yards and 1 more touchdown to his records. Brady image by Goldin.co.
Justin Herbert’s Chargers beat up on the Las Vegas Raiders in a 24-19 victory. Herbert’s 26-for-34 passes was better than a 76% completion rate, he racked up 279 yards, had 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He also managed to stay upright with no sacks after being sacked 31 times in 2021 and 32 times in 2022. His 8.2 average passing yards was also above the last two seasons. Herbert image by Heritage Auctions.
Patrick Mahomes’s Chiefs dominated Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. It was a good week to be a Mahomes fan and less than great for Murray fans. Mahomes is now established NFL royalty at the age of 26 as he enters what is expected to be his fifth full season. Mahomes racked up an impressive 5 touchdowns, his 30-for-39 passes yielded a 76.9% completion rate with a 9.2 yard average with a total of 360 passing yards. He had no sacks and kicked his season off with no interceptions. Let’s superimpose just two key stats for 17 games — that would be 6,120 yards and 85 touchdowns. Collectors couldn’t be bitching about Mahomes’ performance. Mahomes image by PWCC Marketplace.
Kyler Murray may not have his star receiver, and frankly the only play I saw him in was 1 of his 2 sacks on Sunday. Murray did manage to go 22-for-34 with a 64.7% completion rate. He racked up 193 passing yards and had 2 passing TDs with zero interceptions. The performance wouldn’t be atrocious considering it was against the Chiefs. Still, his stats could have been much better. Murray collectors probably weren’t calling up a shrink for evaluation, but they weren’t exactly bragging about him and taunting their best fantasy football friends either. Murray’s schedule for the next three weeks is the Raiders, then the Rams, then the Panthers.
Matthew Stafford was a major under-dog for a card ahead of the Super Bowl despite the Rams being favorites. Let’s just say no one wanted to load up on Detroit Lions QB cards over the last decade. Even finding graded cards was tough because no one wanted to pay to get his cards graded. Then his interest soared after the Rams lived up to their Super Bowl victory expectations. And then came this Sunday’s performance on top of discussions about elbow or arm problems. Stafford did not exactly show a 4-year $160 million contract performance. Stafford still had a 70.7% completion rate, but 240 yards and 1 touchdown didn’t even come close to keeping up with the 31-10 Buffalo Bills victory. Stafford gave the Bills 3 interceptions but he was sacked an embarrassing 7 times (at least no fumbles). The Rams face the Falcons in a week but Stafford card hogs probably felt like the 34-year old QB will have a hard time living up to some brief hopes of a 2022 repeat.
Josh Allen fans and his card collectors are likely feeling good after Sunday. Allen pounded the Super Bowl winning Rams to start what should be a fifth full season. His 31 passes and 26 completions was a stellar 83.9% and his 297 yeards generated a 9.6 yard average. He managed to get 3 TD passes (and ran for 1 TD). Two stats that were less impressive were the 2 interceptions and 2 sacks (with no fumbles). The collectors with big hopes for Josh Allen could complain about the negative numbers but the “successful” offense numbers were impressive over what should have been a closer game from the Super Bowl champions.
Tua Tagovailoa has been up and down for Dolphins fans and collectors alike, but there are still some good things happening. Tua managed his fourth win in four tries against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. The 24-year old QB’s 23-for-33 passes was a strong 69.7% completion rate. He only had 1 passing TD and no interceptions, but still managed 270 yards. What would those stats have been without being sacked 3 times? Collectors and fans shouldn’t be disappointed about Tua’s game performance but they probably still aren’t as hopeful as they were during his rookie year. The next three games are against the Ravens, Bills and Bengals.
The first week of NFL play brought an end to Russell Wilson’s streak in his debut game for the Denver Broncos against his former Seattle Seahawks. That said, Wilson’s completion was 69% on Monday Night Football, he passed for 340 yards, had no interceptions, and racked up a passing touchdown. He was sacked twice. Wilson’s loss was also due to poor coaching decisions to let the playclock wind down for one of the longest field goals in NFL history (it failed). Wilson’s schedule for the coming few weeks should allow his numbers to rise, but as they say “any given Sunday!”
Joe Burrow may still have the best hair of any NFL player, but he did struggle against the Steelers in game one. His 338 passing yards was impressive, but 2 TD passes versus 4 interceptions was not exactly league-leading in the 23-20 loss in overtime. Burrow’s 33-for-53 passes yielded a 62.3% completion percentage, which is under his average in the last two seasons. Burrow’s hopes of another Super Bowl appearance may not be dead, but his 5 total turnovers was less than stellar including a pic-six. After a last second TD in regulation to Ja’Marr Chase was followed by McPherson’s extra-point kick block, the 20-20 game that should have been won went into overtime. And not challenging what might have been another Ja-Marr Chase touchdown only adds to the early-season disappointment.
Trevor Lawrence is still a key QB to collectors and he has an endless number of rookie cards to prove it. His 2021 hopes were not matched in performance for the Jacksonville Jaguars and his debut for his second year was less than stellar. A 57.5% completion percentage isn’t close to the best of the QBs covered in Game-1, but “T-Law” as some call him (really guys?) did see 275 passing yards. That came with just 1 TD pass and 1 interception to match, and young Trevor had 2 sacks and no fumbles.
There were high hopes for Dak Prescott in 2022. Now everyone is sour already about the Cowboys season just one game in after Prescott fractured his hand and will be out after thumb surgery for an expected 6 to 8 weeks. Cowboy fans and collectors alike now have reason to worry that the blips of hope were just head-fakes. We have to consider that Prescott’s fractured ankle in 2020 was followed by a 6 win versus 10 loss record that year. This injury was very unfortunate, and the media reports are less than favorable for Cowboy fans and Prescott collectors alike.
Aaron Rodgers may still have some clouds and controversy about the off-field coverage and management, but his 2022 season debut was a performance that will sour Rodgers fans and collectors alike even if the argument about it being an away game matters. The Packers were pounded 23-7 by the Vikings, and Rodgers 22 completions from 34 passes was somewhat average for his career with a 64.7%. Where this really stinks is that the 195 passing yards included no passing touchdown versus 1 interception and with 4 sacks. The 39-year old Rodgers also gave up a rare fumble despite his high historic sack rate.
As for other quarterback performances and the stats for fans and collectors, this has to come to an end. That means Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts got skipped over here, and DeShawn Watson remains on suspension for another month. Sorry, but that’s all gents!