Three weeks of voting have gone by since the official first round, and over 18 million votes have been cast. Big names have been taken down, but the final four contestants — Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Willis — are still alive.
Anything goes with these four finalists. The vote could send the two underdogs (Willis/Johnson), the two #1’s(Newton/Rodgers), the two dominators (Newton/Johnson), or the two that squeezed into the semi’s (Willis/Rodgers) through to the final round. What we do know is that there will be no AFC player on the cover, whoever wins will be a first timer, and the winner’s 2012 season is doomed thanks to the curse.
This is the vote to determine who advances to the finals. Below I have my picks and analysis, who will you choose?
#1 Cam Newton VS. # 11 Patrick Willis
Newton has completely steamrolled his competition every round and continued the trend last week, receiving 70% of the vote against Larry Fitzgerald, the largest margin of victory in the third round. Willis has been the Cinderella of this bracket since upsetting Matt Forte in the first round before taking down Maurice Jones-Drew and Victor Cruz, respectively. Newton has been the fan favorite since day one and I’d be surprised to see him not advance to the finals. That being said, I’m a fan of defense and the underdog, my personal vote goes to Willis.
#1 Aaron Rodgers VS. #6 Calvin Johnson
Rodgers squeaks past Ray Rice with 55% of the vote in the third round to make the final four. I’m not sure if the #1 seed is losing steam, but on the other side…
Calvin Johnson has been on a roll since the first round, bested by ONLY Cam Newton. Johnson even defeated Rob Gronkowski with 63% of the vote to make the semi-finals. The more I think about it, the more I like Megatron, so he gets my vote in the upset.
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 fourth round ends on April 18th.
Fans can visit the Madden NFL Facebook page or the SportsNation page to join discussions about the cover vote. They are also encouraged to tweet their Cover Vote picks using the hashtag #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.