By 1993, the thought of the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl — again — terrified and bored NFL fans … maybe even those in Buffalo.

But, man, those were some great teams!

They were loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, and they have since piled into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, en masse.

In case you have forgotten just how awesome those Buffalo Bills were in their Super Bowl years, take a gander at these ten awesome rookie cards …

1979 Topps James Lofton Rookie Card

1979 Topps James Lofton Rookie Card

Lofton is the only guy on our list who didn’t make his cardboard debut with the Bills.

In fact, he was 33 years old by the time he landed in Buffalo in 1989, and he was likely already a Hall of Famer. Or at least darn close.

That’s what happens when you put up five 1000-plus yard season for the cold and snowy Green Bay Packers and pace the NFL in yards per reception in two of those years.

A couple of declining seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders may have had some writing his football obit, but Lofton returned to prominence back in the cold.

Well … after a couple of years, anyway.

The 1989 season saw him catch just eight passes for 166 yards, numbers he put up across 12 games but just two starts.

He started most of the next year, though, and by 1991 was a favorite target of quarterback Jim Kelly. That season Lofton nabbed 57 balls for 1072 yards and eight TDs.

In the Super Bowl that year, he caught seven more for 92 yards as the Bills fell, 37-24, to the Washington Redskins.

Lofton’s 1979 Topps rookie card has long been a hobby heavyweight and remains a collector favorite today.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1986 Topps Andre Reed Rookie Card

1986 Topps Andre Reed Rookie Card

While Lofton was wrapping up his Packers career, Reed was just sharpening up the skills that would one day make him Kelly’s featured receiver.

In 1985, the rookie caught 48 passes for 637 yards and four touchdowns while starting 15 games.

It was a solid beginning made all the more impressive by the fact that most of those passes were tossed by Vince Ferragamo and Bruce Mathison, and that the Bills finished with a 2-14 record.

The team and its budding star would swing way up over the next few seasons, and by the time Buffalo made the Big Game for the first time, Reed was a bona fide star.

His biggest championship game performance came during the Bills’ 52-17 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.

In that one, Reed caught eight balls for 152 yards and helped solidify his 1986 Topps rookie card as a must-have for collectors.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1986 Topps Bruce Smith Rookie Card

1986 Topps Bruce Smith Rookie Card

Another must-have rookie card from that 1986 Topps set?

That would be Bruce Smith, who the Bills took first overall out of Virginia Tech in the 1985 draft and who lived up to the hype that comes with that billing.

Amazingly, the agile and tough-as-nails defensive end never led the NFL in sacks, but he was good for 10-15 most years and ended up as an eight-time All-Pro selection.

The Bills wouldn’t have made any Super Bowls without their defensive leader, and the hobby wouldn’t be the same without his Hall of Fame RC.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1987 Topps Jim Kelly Rookie Card

1987 Topps Jim Kelly Rookie Card

OK, so technically, this 1987 Topps issue is not Kelly’s rookie card, as he scored some love in those old USFL sets with the Houston Gamblers in 1984 and 1985.

But this is his first NFL card, and, as great as his run in the USFL was, it was with the Bills that Kelly really made his name.

I mean, dude led his team to four straight Super Bowls, which just doesn’t happen for folks not named “Tom Brady.”

And even then it doesn’t happen.

So, yes, this RC of a Hall of Fame QB hero — even one who lost all his Super Bowls — is a classic.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1987 Topps Pete Metzelaars Rookie Card

1987 Topps Pete Metzelaars Rookie Card

You look at Pete Metzelaars’ stats, and you might get the idea he didn’t mean all that much to the Buffalo Bills during most of their glory years.

I mean, he lost his starting role in 1990 just as things were getting interesting, and he didn’t regain that status until 1993, the last year of their run.

But Metzelaars, from tiny Wabash College, played in every game during that span and was a smash-mouth run blocker.

And, even though he came off the bench most of the time, he still managed 45 receptions from 1990-92.

Scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XXVI, too.

In 1993, Metzelaars dusted off his receiving hands and nabbed 68 balls for 609 yards over 16 games, all starts.

You’ll never finance your retirement or even your next cup of coffee by selling Pete’s rookie card, but it’s still a vital part of any run through the cardboard of the Super Bowl Bills.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1989 Pro Set Scott Norwood Rookie Card

1989 Pro Set Scott Norwood Rookie Card

And you can’t really talk about the Buffalo Bills and their Super Bowls and their Super Bowl losses without talking about “wide right.”

As in, Scott Norwood’s would-be game-winning kick in Super Bowl XXV sailed wide right as time grew short.

Now, sometimes we forget that this was a 47-yard attempt … no easy feat.

And we forget that Norwood had connected on just 69% of his field goal tries that season.

Regardless of all that, though, wide right is an iconic moment, and Norwood is an iconic goat.

That makes his 1989 Pro Set issue an iconic rookie card, with added cachet for being part of the company’s debut set.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1989 Pro Set Will Wolford Rookie Card

1989 Pro Set Will Wolford Rookie Card

A team doesn’t build a potent passing attack without a stout stopper at left tackle.

At 6’5″ and nearly 300 pounds, big Will Wolford fit that, um, bill to T … and he also had the hands and footwork to keep Jim Kelly upright most of the time from 1986 through 1992.

Though he wound down his career with stops in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, Wolford is a Buffalo legend who kept the Bills plodding toward the Super Bowl for three straight seasons.

That his 1989 Pro Set rookie card came late in the game (he debuted in 1986) just goes to show what a thankless job O-lineman was for so many decades.

(Wolford did have a card in the 1988 Bills Police set.)

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1989 Score Thurman Thomas Rookie Card

1989 Score Thurman Thomas Rookie Card

You also can’t optimize your passing game without a strong running attack.

And that’s especially true when you play half your games in (potentially) snowy Buffalo, plus others in New England, New Jersey, and usually a couple of other northern locations.

So, as the Bills were building into a legitimate title contender, the Buffalo brain trust selected Thomas in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft.

A good choice? Heck, it may have been the bargain slot of the decade!

After running for 881 yards as a rookie, Thomas reeled off eight straight 1000-plus yard seasons and cemented his bust in Canton.

Along the way, he made it debatable whether the Bills were a better running team or a better passing team — in reality, they blended the two to splendid near-perfection.

Thomas’s rookie here in the first Score set has been a hobby staple for three decades.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1989 Score Supplemental Frank Reich Rookie Card

1989 Score Supplemental Frank Reich Rookie Card

OK, so Reich was no superstar under center in the pros, but he might have been had Kelly not come back into the NFL fold.

As things worked out, Reich developed into a capable backup who appeared in all but one game during the Bills’ four-year Super Bowl run.

Heck, he even started two playoff games in 1992 and carried a huge portion of the passing load in Super Bowl XVII against Dallas.

These days, Reich is stomping the sidelines as a coach, which might mean more exposure for his 1989 Score Supplemental rookie card.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

1989 Topps Traded Don Beebe Rookie Card

1989 Topps Traded Don Beebe Rookie Card

Like Reich, Beebe was never the main focus of the Bills’ offense.

But Beebe got his share of the spotlight as one of Kelly’s favorite non-Reed targets, topping 30 receptions four times and 500 yards three times.

Dude even picked up 50-plus yards in each of Buffalo’s last three Super Bowl appearances.

Even better for him (maybe), Beebe won a ring with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

His 1989 Topps Traded rookie card features a crisp, cold image of the young receiver waiting for the ball.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

BONUS!! 1989 Pro Set Marv Levy Rookie Card

1989 Pro Set Marv Levy Rookie Card

You don’t often find a 64-year-old man on a rookie card, but that’s the case with our bonus entry here.

See, though Marv Levy had been around the NFL for years by 1989, he didn’t land with the Bills until 1986.

And there weren’t really many (if any) coaches cards back then, so Levy whiffed on the cardboard front in his earlier stint with the Kansas City Chiefs and during the beginning of his Buffalo run.

But Pro Set was comprehensive if nothing else, so they treated us to our first nationally-distributed Levy card.

It’s a Hall of Fame rookie card worthy of any collection.

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

Vintage Buffalo Bills 1991 AFC Champs Super Bowl XXV Crewneck Sweatshirt Large

$33.99
End Date: Sunday Sep-13-2020 10:00:49 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $33.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1990 BUFFALO BILLS Super Bowl AFC Championship Ring 18k Gold Plated Size 11 USA

$29.95
End Date: Tuesday Aug-18-2020 10:38:40 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1992 BUFFALO BILLS Super Bowl AFC Championship Ring 18k Gold Plated Size 11 USA

$29.95
End Date: Tuesday Aug-18-2020 10:34:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage NFL SUPER BOWL XXV NEW YORK GIANTS BUFFALO BILLS Snapback Hat Cap NOS

$19.95
End Date: Tuesday Sep-8-2020 13:07:26 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list