As one of our five players to watch this weekend, we told you to keep an eye on Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota in his return to the starting lineup.
He delivered, throwing for 371 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-28 win over the New Orleans Saints — his best performance in six games this season. In fact, that upped his touchdown total for the year to 12, which is tied for the most for a rookie QB in franchise history. (Vince Young’s mark will fall this week unless the undefeated Panthers throw a shutout.)
We all know that Mariota’s cardboard was going to remain expensive no matter what happened as he’s one of the premiere players in this year’s rookie class. With a game like that, though, any jitters people had about digging in on his cardboard likely vanished.
Keep reading for more players who generated some buzz on the field — and why — this week.
— Antonio Brown — This Steelers WR set a franchise record for most receiving yards in a game with 284 on a record 17 catches in a 38-35 win over the Raiders. He’s pretty well established with Steelers fans, but there could be additional interest from collectors as a whole after this showing. His RCs are found back in 2010 products and he only has a couple hundred different certified autographs — a vast majority of those are found in Panini America products.
— Derek Carr The Raiders’ second-year QB didn’t lead his team to a win, but he sure looked like a winner with four touchdown passes for the third straight game. That’s something a Raiders QB hasn’t done since the early 1960s. Helping Carr, of course, are his receivers and Michael Crabtree (seven catches, 108 yards, two TDs) as well as Amari Cooper (seven catches, 88 yards, one TD) could be right here, too. Cooper’s 45 receptions this season have already set a new Raiders rookie record. Carr’s RCs are in 2014 brands, while Cooper is in this year’s. You’ll have to revisit 2009 for Crabtree RCs.
— Cam Newton. While a pre-game sign incident has him firmly in the McDonald’s camp instead of the Burger King crowd, we still don’t know his menu preferences. After a whopper of a game though — 297 passing yards, three passing TDs, 57 rushing yards, one rushing TD) — his team remains undefeated at 8-0. In fact, he hasn’t lost in 11 straight regular-season games. Even better trivia from ESPN? Five of the last six QBs to have 10-plus win streaks like that have gone on to the Super Bowl. Needless to say, all of these things should spark interest in his 2011 RCs.
— Eddie Lacy In terms of Bad Buzz, Lacy’s struggles this season continued once again in Week 9. The Packers RB had five carries for 10 yards and a fumble. Even the most diehard collectors of the Packers have to start wondering now about his 2013 RCs — and everything else, too.
— Ben Roethlisberger Not quite Really Bad Buzz, but the QB leaving the Steelers’ win early with a foot injury — one that will sideline him for a few weeks — will not help his football cards. This isn’t a season-ending injury but it’s hard to spark interest in the cards of established veterans — his RCs are from way back in 2004 — when they aren’t on the field. Out of sight, out of mind.
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