The Madden video game series is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and the football simulator franchise is having a special vote to determine which superstar gets the honor of gracing the Madden 25 cover.
After the field was narrowed to 65 players, set up like the NCAA tournament bracket—broken in two sections for fairness (old-school legends and current NFL stars)—and voting was conducted, the battle to be on the front cover has come down to two superstars.
Barry Sanders and Adrian Peterson.
While there is no doubt that Sanders deserves the immense credit he is given for a superb career, he will be facing a tough challenge against Peterson, who is unquestionably the best running back in the NFL today.
Wednesday will see the official reveal of which star won the final vote to grace the cover of Madden 25, and fans that love both the NFL and video games will be very excited to hear the announcement.
When: April 24 at 8 p.m. ET
Game Details: Official Madden Site
Breaking Down the Finalists
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings (New School)
No matter how much the NFL transitions to a pass-first league, the continued success of a bona fide star like the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson—even after having ACL and MCL surgery in 2011—is why the fans have stayed so dedicated to "All Day."
While most expected the knee surgery to slow Peterson down in 2012, the Vikings star amassed 2,097 rushing yards (nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season record), 2,314 all-purpose yards and won the NFL MVP Award.
Peterson had the best season of his career on a reconstructed knee and in a pass-first league, and the fans of the NFL today understand the magnitude of what he has accomplished.
Add in the fact that Peterson had to beat some of the biggest stars in the NFL today to get this far—in order, with percentages: Carson Palmer (94-6), LeSean McCoy (90-10), Rob Gronkowski (81-19), Robert Griffin III (70-30) and Arian Foster (64-36)—and there is no doubt that All Day deserves his spot in the final.
The way the fans have voted for Peterson thus far should have Barry Sanders worried.
Barry Sanders, RB, Detroit Lions (Old School)
While Peterson is the best of the modern era, the same case can be made that Hall of Famer and former Detroit Lions star Barry Sanders was the best running back of his generation and arguably the greatest pure running back of all time.
Sanders only spent 10 years in the NFL before walking away on his own accord, but the impact he made during his time in the league is undeniable. In each of his 10 seasons, Sanders was voted to the Pro Bowl, voted as an All-Pro and had over 1,000 yards (typically much more).
Upon retiring, Sanders had 15,269 yards (third all time), 99 touchdowns and had joined the elusive 2,000-yard rushing club. As great as Peterson’s 2,000-yard season was in 2012, Sanders has been there and done that.
Sanders’ road to the Madden 25 final was even more impressive than Peterson’s, as he was forced to go through the Old School bracket made up of NFL legends and Hall of Famers—in order: Ron Rivera (95-5), Marcus Allen (92-8), Ray Lewis (67-33), Joe Montana (57-43) and Jerry Rice (52-48).
After beating the caliber of stars that Sanders faced in the voting to get to this point, the former Detroit star has the inside lane to make the Madden 25 front cover.
Predicted Winner: Barry Sanders