Down to the final two, each team is just one win from a championship. The Super Bowl is where heroes are made and careers are cemented. In the hobby world, the Super Bowl is also a time for a national stage and a spike in card and autograph values for the winners and big performers. Most players who benefit from this bump in popularity do not sustain it over the longterm, but for those that produce on the big stage, the results are immediate and obvious.
With that in mind, we take a look at several players on each team that would benefit most in the collecting world with a win, and also the most likely to contribute to a win for their team. The quarterbacks for each team are some of the obvious beneficiaries, so the main focus will be on other key players. Under each player listed, we have included the top rookie and first year cards available.
Super Bowl XLVIII Card Guide
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Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
With the final teams set, the dynamic Broncos' offense and the legacy of Peyton Manning will go up against the dominating Seahawks's defense and their much-talked about "Legion of Boom." Multiple stories will top the headlines leading up to the game, including Peyton Manning going for his second title, the possibility for bad weather at MetLife Stadium, Richard Sherman's impressive play and fiery personality, and injured players, such as Knowshon Moreno and Percy Harvin.
The Broncos' offense is truly an embarrassment of riches. First and foremost, Peyton Manning just compiled the greatest regular season in NFL history. Peyton Manning needs another Super Bowl win to add "multiple Super Bowl winner" to his resume. If he can continue his masterful performance, and add another title and Super Bowl MVP, Peyton Manning cards and autographs will explode. View a list of the top Peyton Manning rookie cards here. If he does add a second title, the real question after that is which of his many talented teammates will be the beneficiary of another superb Peyton Manning performance.
Demaryius Thomas was the top target for Peyton Manning in 2013, with the most receptions, yards and touchdowns on the team. It makes sense to assume that this trend continues for the dynamic young receiver.
- 2010 Exquisite Collection Demaryius Thomas #104 Autographed Jersey #/75
- 2010 Playoff National Treasures Demaryius Thomas RC #309 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2010 Playoff Contenders Demaryius Thomas RC #209 Autograph
- 2010 Topps Five Star Demaryius Thomas RC #173 Autographed Jersey #/40
After a good start, the season took an unfortunate turn for Wes Welker as he battled concussion issues for the second half of the season. Healthy again, Manning will look to Welker often.
The last of the three top receivers, Eric Decker has put up some impressive games and has the added incentive of playing for a new contract. The 2014 free agent could set himself up for a huge payday with a strong finish to the year.
- 2010 Playoff National Treasures Eric Decker RC #314 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2010 Playoff Contenders Eric Decker RC #214 Autograph (print run of 492)
- 2010 Topps Five Star Eric Decker RC #177 Autographed Jersey #/90
Another 2014 free agent, Knowshon Moreno is finally living up to the expectations the Broncos had when they drafted him 12th overall in the 2009 draft. The Broncos will need something from the running game to keep pressure off Peyton Manning.
- 2009 Exquisite Collection Knowshon Moreno RC #184 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2009 Playoff Contenders Knowshon Moreno RC #108 Autograph (print run of 455)
- 2009 Playoff National Treasures Knowshon Moreno RC #118 Autographed Jersey #/99
Outside of the players listed above, there are a few others who could offer significant contributions. Julius Thomas finally had a relatively healthy year and has been a touchdown machine at the tight end position. Montee Ball is a rookie running back who has seen consistent work backing up Moreno and could be in for a bigger role in the future. Also, Trindon Holiday is a small and speedy returner who could play a pivotal role if he can hold onto the football.
Defense. Defense. Defense. Seattle will need a big performance from their defense to keep the electric Broncos' offense at bay. They will also need something from their offense. While he is still young, Russell Wilson has proven adept at winning despite his sometimes inconsistent play. Wilson displays a poise beyond his years and the team will need him and their impressive defense to come up big in order to bring a title to Seattle. View a complete guide to all Russell Wilson rookie cards here.
As Beast Mode goes, so go the Seahawks. The bruising runner is the main focus of the offense and his earthquake-inducing runs have pushed the team to some great wins. Marshawn Lynch could easily be the reason Seattle prevails this year.
- 2007 Exquisite Collection Marshawn Lynch RC #131 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2007 Playoff National Treasures Marshawn Lynch RC #123 Autographed Jersey #/99
- 2007 Playoff Contenders Marshawn Lynch RC #194 Autograph (print run of 533)
Percy Harvin was expected to be the top receiver when he came over from Minnesota, but an injury forced him to miss most of the regular season. Not completely healthy, the team hopes the all-purpose athlete can get back on the field to help them take the title.
- 2009 Exquisite Collection Percy Harvin RC #162 Autographed Jersey #/225
- 2009 Playoff Contenders Percy Harvin RC #112 Autograph (print run of 497)
- 2009 Playoff National Treasures Percy Harvin RC #129 Autograph Jersey #/99
In addition to Harvin, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are other potential game-changers at wide receiver. Also, the Seattle secondary is one of the most celebrated defensive groups in the league, and top players include Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.