The Madden 13 cover vote has been going on for about a month now and the original field of 64 has been chipped away to the final eight candidates. Fan voters have come out in force casting over 16 million votes thus far, eclipsing the 13 million votes cast in last year’s vote, and there’s still three rounds to go! Below is a breakdown of the remaining candidates and their match-ups, including my picks for each.
#1 Cam Newton VS. #4 Larry Fitzgerald
Why must I have to say this every week? Fitzgerald has already been on the cover!! Yes, he’s a great player, but give someone else a chance people. Fitz shouldn’t have beat LeSean McCoy but he did, getting only 54% of the vote. Meanwhile, Cam Newton is still destroying every player in his way, receiving 87% of the vote in the first round and 83% of the vote last week against Antonio Gates. While I don’t think he’ll get over 80% of the vote again, I do believe Cam gets the largest margin of victory this week.
#11 Patrick Willis VS. #2 Victor Cruz
I love defense, so it makes me pretty happy to see Patrick Willis advance this far after taking out Matt Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew. Winning last week’s battle for the big apple, Victor Cruz took out Darrell Revis and now faces Willis in a match-up of NFC title game opponents. I love Cruz as a player, but I have to go with the underdog the rest of the way here. Vote goes to Willis.
#1 Aaron Rodgers VS. #5 Ray Rice
It’s no surprise that Aaron Rodgers has advanced this far, but Ray Rice will give Rodgers the best fight he’s faced thus far. Meanwhile, Rice beat out Drew Brees with only 51% of the vote in the second round, basically the coin flip I expected. I’d rather see Rice win so the Madden curse smacks around the Ravens, but I think Rodgers takes it in a close vote.
#6 Calvin Johnson VS. #2 Rob Gronkowski
Gronkowski destroyed Jared Allen in the second round getting 65% of the vote, which was expected. What I didn’t expect, however, was the absolute mauling that Calvin Johnson put on Arian Foster. Megatron received 73% of the vote over Foster, who had previously beaten Tim Tebow. Johnson has received 92% and 73% of votes in the first two rounds but I’d be shocked if he wins by that much again against Gronk. I’m voting for Johnson, but this will be close.
Fans can make their voices heard at www.ESPN.com/MaddenVote to cast their vote for who they believe should be on this year’s cover. Voting for the third round ends on April 11th.
Fans can visit the Madden NFL Facebook page or the SportsNation page join discussions about the cover vote. They are also encouraged to tweet their Cover Vote picks using the hashtag #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.