Madden 13 Cover: 8 Players Who Belong in the Bracket
The 64-man competition for the cover of the 2013 edition of the Madden NFL video game is a truly unique idea, but it has flaws.
While each team has two representatives vying for the chance to advance to the round of 32, not all the right choices were made.
As happens every year in the NCAA Tournament, it appears that a couple of the wrong bubbles have been burst.
Granted, not every worthy player can make the tourney, but how is the Super Bowl MVP excluded?
Let's take a look at eight players who should of been included in the bracket.
8. Cameron Wake
There is nothing wrong with selecting Reggie Bush or Brandon Marshall for the bracket.
Both players had exceptional seasons, going for over 1000 yards rushing and receiving, respectively.
It just seems Cameron Wake is constantly overlooked in Miami.
The 6'3" 250 pound linebacker has 28 sacks over the past three seasons and is the type of player that opposing offensive coordinators have to gameplan around.
He may not have the star power or popularity of a guy like Reggie Bush, but his talent is worthy of recognition.
7. Darren McFadden
Oakland Raiders Chosen: K Sebastian Janikowski and P Shane Lechler
Darren McFadden has had his fair share of injury problems since entering the NFL, the former Arkansas Razorback is still the straw that stirs the drink in the Oakland Raiders' offense.
It is somewhat fun that the bracket pits two kickers against each other, but do either Lechler or Janikowski realistically have a shot of advancing even another round?
McFadden is an up-and-coming running back talent that represents the future of the Oakland offense.
He could carry the votes of Raider fans and Arkansas fans as they have no native NFL team to pull for anyway.
McFadden's omission is not the worst mistake in the world, but it is notable nonetheless.
6. Roddy White
Atlanta Falcons Chosen: WR Julio Jones and QB Matt Ryan
Roddy White had more receptions, targets and yards last season than his teammate Julio Jones.
Yet White has not been chosen for inclusion in the bracket challenge.
Jones is one of the best young talents in the NFL and he certainly has his fans, but if only one Falcons' receiver will be in the vote then it should certainly be White.
But the better idea may have been to put both Jones and White into the vote for an intriguing wideout showdown.
Quarterback Matt Ryan's odds of winning are astronomically small anyway, so a matchup between one of the best receiving tandems in the league would be much more interesting.
5. Steven Jackson
St. Louis Rams Chosen: DE Chris Long and WR Brandon Lloyd
It is somewhat baffling that neither QB Sam Bradford or RB Steven Jackson were chosen for inclusion on the bracket.
These are the two fundamental pieces to the Rams' offense and yet they were neglected in favor of a wideout who recorded under 1,000 yards receiving and only five touchdowns.
This is not to say Brandon Lloyd is a bad player, but Steven Jackson has been the backbone of the St. Louis offense for seven years.
He has 9,093 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns in his Rams career and deserves to be in the bracket.
4. Marcedes Lewis
Jacksonville Jaguars Chosen: RB Maurice Jones-Drew and QB Blaine Gabbert
Maurice Jones-Drew is an obvious selection and could potentially make a run for the cover, but Gabbert does not belong anywhere near the bracket.
He may prove to be the franchise QB the Jaguars desire, but for now he is underdeveloped and struggling to catch up to the speed of the NFL.
That means Marcedes Lewis should of made the bracket almost by default.
He is the second best player on the Jacksonville roster and is one of the most talented TE's in the league.
3. Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers is a true "Monster of the Midway," and it is a shame he is not in the Madden bracket.
The Chicago Bears organization has always been known for defense, and yet two offensive players occupy both the team's slots in the tournament.
Jay Cutler and Matt Forte are certainly both stars in their own right, but this is Julius Peppers we are talking about.
The man had 11 sacks this past season and has recorded 100 during his 10-year career.
To not include he or linebacker Brian Urlacher to represent the Bears' defense seems like a serious omission from the bracket.
2. Tom Brady
New England Patriots Chosen: TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Wes Welker
Rob Gronkowski took the NFL by storm this season, scoring 17 touchdowns and gaining 1,327 yards receiving.
Similarly, Wes Welker has been a productive Patriot, gaining over 1,000 yards in four of the past five seasons.
Yet neither of these players are Tom Brady.
Brady is synonymous with the Patriots organization and has led the team to three Super Bowl victories.
He is a two-time NFL MVP and a seven-time Pro Bowler.
Perhaps the brain-trust in charge of creating the bracket wanted to showcase other talent on the New England roster.
If so then mission accomplished, but again, neither of these men are Tom Brady.
1. Eli Manning
New York Giants Chosen: WR Victor Cruz and DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Unless your name is Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson, being the quarterback of the winning Super Bowl team should put you in line for every accolade possible, including the Madden cover.
Eli Manning accomplished this feat, and not only did he fend off the mighty Patriots for the second time in the Super Bowl, he also backed it up with a tremendous regular season.
Manning threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns, while starting every game for the G-Men.
Both Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul had breakout seasons, so it is hard to argue how much they deserved to be considered, but surely one of them should of taken a backseat to the reigning Super Bowl MVP.
Manning could have not only defeated either of his teammates, he could have truly competed for the cover.