2017 Panini Playoff
The NFL Playoffs are right around the corner and that means football intensity ramps up quite a bit. The playoff brackets are not finalized yet but you will see New England, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Minnesota and the LA Rams when the playoffs begin. As of this writing, I don’t know yet who the remaining teams will be but New Orleans, Carolina, Kansas City, Atlanta, Detroit, San Diego, Baltimore, Buffalo and Tennessee will find a way to round out the remaining teams. We won’t see Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning or Kirk Cousins this year so we’ve definitely got some new blood to cheer for.
In conjunction with the NFL Playoffs, Panini has released Playoff 2017 for collectors. Playoff is a lower end offering from Panini each year and the hobby boxes can currently be found for around $70. Each hobby box has 12 packs with 8 cards each and averages 1 autograph and 1 memorabilia card among the 12 packs. Among the autographs, collectors have a chance to pull Contenders Preview Autographs as well as Rated Rookie Optic Autographs, which is a pretty cool idea. The set features a 300 card set that includes 200 base cards and 100 rookies.
There are countless random inserts that can be found within a hobby box. There are Base and Rookie Kickoff inserts that are labeled 1st/2nd/3rd/4th Down/Touchdown and are numbered 299 to 1; RPS and Rookie Autographs/Kickoff/1st Down/Touchdown numbered from 199 to 1; Game Day Signatures numbered 30 to 1; Touchdown Tandem Signatures numbered 10 to 1; Hall of Fame Signatures numbered 25 to 1 and many, many more! The Contender Rookie Ticket and Optic Rated Rookie Preview Autographs are numbered to 23.
It’s time to bust a box and see what 2017 Playoff has to offer. Because there are only 12 packs, we’ll do the pack by pack review as we did with the Topps Holiday Box. The packs have Marcus Mariota and Christian McCaffrey on the outside and are otherwise par for the course.
The aforementioned Kirk Cousins headlines the current player list while Willie McGinest is the star retired player. There were three inserts included; Kam Chancellor Gridiron Force, Devonta Freeman/Julio Jones Thunder & Lightning and a Boss Hoggs (4th Down) Marshawn Lynch #’d to 10! The rookie included in this pack was Tim Williams for Baltimore
AJ Green and Steve Largent were the best of the best in terms of current and retired players. The rookie in this pack was the tight end from the Michigan Wolverines, Jake Butt. There was another Gridiron Force insert with Gerald McCoy. I like this insert so far. This pack also had my memorabilia hit as well but I’ll cover that at the end.
This pack was very solid. I pulled both a Troy Aikman and Jim Plunkett from retired players and they were great QB’s in their day. The current players included Tyreek Hill and David Johnson. The rookie in this pack was Evan Engram, who has had a tremendous rookie season. My first Flea Flicker insert was found here as well and it featured David Carr/Marshawn Lynch/Amari Cooper.
This pack was a heavy hitter on the defensive side of the ball with Richard Sherman, Von Miller and Khalil Mack included. The retired stars were Terry Bradshaw and Jim Kelly. I pulled my first Star Gazing insert of Travis Kelce and it has already become my favorite design in the set so far.
This was a QB heavy pack with Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Eli Manning. Of course, you have to have someone to throw it to so Jerry Rice is here as well. And I have a new favorite insert! This Playoff Momentum Michael Irvin is colorful and has a retro feel to it.
I would say that this pack was a dud based on the cards shown here. But wait until you see the autograph I pulled!! I picked up another Flea Flicker Insert, this time featuring the Bengals Dalton/Hill/Green.
I’m still excited about that autograph! But this pack was a bit of a monster too. This one included the great rookie Kareem Hunt, retired legend Ickey Woods, Julio Jones, Jared Goff and another Boss Hogg of DeMarco Murray. There was another Maurice Jones-Drew here but it was a 2nd Down foil numbered to 49.
Another solid pack with a Joe Mixon RC that was a Kickoff Foil numbered to 299. I also pulled a Deandre Hopkins and Champ Bailey (my daughter’s namesake). Plus, there was another Playoff Momentum Insert, this time of Jordy Nelson.
There was another Kickoff foil in this pack and it was Steve Young numbered to 299. The rookie was another solid running back in Tarik Cohen. The Boss Hogg insert of Mark Ingram was a nice add and Howie Long was one of my favorites back in the day.
Blake Bortles is looking like a decent quarterback right now and the Jaguars defense is unbelievable. Russell Wilson is carrying the Seahawks because their defense is not what it used to be. Gale Sayers is always a fun pull when opening modern day packs. And the two inserts were the Bengals Thunder & Lightning and Derrick Brooks Gridiron Force.
The final pack had another stellar rookie with DeShone Kizer. Another QB I had high hopes for this year but didn’t quite live up to them was Derek Carr. The Odell Beckham Jr. Star Gazing insert is pretty sweet but he didn’t have a very long season. I also pulled the 3rd Manning that played in the NFL as well as the Panthers Flea Flicker insert with Cam Newton/Jonathan Stewart/Greg Olsen.
I think this box was very solid, especially when considering the AJ Green autograph. For the relatively low price for hobby boxes today, there is some value to be found. The story might be different if the autograph is a complete dud but this box was well worth the money for me. What do you think of 2017 Playoff?