Madden Men: Top 10 Players Who Should Grace the Cover of Madden NFL 2012
Now that we've reached the end of the 2010 NFL season, most fans are looking forward to the upcoming draft in April.
However, those fans that are avid sports gamers will be waiting patiently for the month of August. Not because of preseason football, but because of the release of 2012's edition of Madden NFL.
The yearly question is already beginning to be debated across the web and in the minds of Madden lovers. What NFL superstar will be plastered on this year's copy of the only NFL video game on the market?
I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's worth wanting your team's player on the cover. Do you want your favorite player to be enshrined, but also be susceptible to the Madden curse?
There are at least ten players that are deserving of this honor, but only one superstar will represent the best-selling sports video game franchise.
10. Michael Vick, QB
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Vick was the biggest surprise in 2010 as he returned to his old form, throwing for 21 TDs and rushing for nine.
He picked up nearly 700 yards on the ground, made the Pro Bowl, won the NFC East with the Eagles, and was considered the runner-up in the MVP race.
Vick has already appeared on the Madden cover (back in 2004 when he was with the Falcons), is known as a dog-killer (Would EA Sports really want him representing their game?), and he threw an ugly interception that knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs in the Wild Card round.
9. Ben Roethlisberger, QB
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The only reason Roethlisberger made my rankings is because he took over the Steelers after a four game absence and made his third Super Bowl appearance.
Roethlisberger is a two-time champ, but he pretty much gave the Lombardi Trophy to the Packers with his two interceptions in Super Bowl XLV.
He racked up 3,200 yards and 17 TDs in 12 games, but Madden is unlikey to pick a guy who was punished by the league with a four game suspension.
8. Matt Ryan, QB
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Matty Ice better not cool down in the offseason if he wants to be frozen in time on Madden NFL 2013 because he is a long shot for the cover of the 2012 edition.
His Pro Bowl play may have earned him his first trip to Hawaii, but after leading Atlanta to a first round bye, he only ended up playing in the meaningless game a week before the Super Bowl.
His performance in the playoffs was weak, throwing two picks to Tramon Williams in the Falcons' humiliating loss to the sixth-seeded Packers. In the regular season, he threw for 3,705 yards and 28 TDs.
If he keeps improving and can lead his team further into January, he could be in the top five of these rankings next year.
7. Adrian Peterson, HB
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If Peterson were to be on the Madden cover this year, it would not because of his team's success.
The Vikings had a miserable season, but Peterson eclipsed the 1,500 total yards mark and crossed the goal line 12 times on the ground.
He has been selected to the Pro Bowl every year of his four year career. If he's the selection for the Madden cover boy, it will be because of his label as one of the best backs in the NFL today.
6. Philip Rivers, QB
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Rivers has flown under the radar this season because his team didn't make the playoffs, but personally he had a spectacular year.
He threw for 30 TDs, 13 INTs, and an impressive 4,710 yards. The Chargers' quarterback has the potential to be associated with the likes of Rodgers or Brady, but this year its unlikely he'll make the cover cut.
You never know though, Madden can surprise us sometimes...
5. Arian Foster, HB
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Arian Foster was the NFL's rushing leader in 2010 and broke several rushing records for the Houston Texans.
He was invited to Hawaii for his first Pro Bowl after gathering over 2,000 total yards and 18 TDs in the regular season.
If he is selected, he'll join Eddie George, Marshall Faulk, and Shaun Alexander as the only running backs to be chosen for the cover.
4. Peyton Manning, QB
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Peyton Manning is a sure future Hall of Famer, and it's time he adds a Madden cover to his list of achievements.
This season he made the Pro Bowl for the eleventh time in thirteen years by throwing for 4,700 yards and 33 TDs.
Manning led the Colts to the playoffs where they nearly knocked off the Jets in the Wild Card round, but ended up losing by a field goal as time expired.
He accomplished all of this despite losing receivers and one of his favorite targets, tight end Dallas Clark. Maybe when Peyton's pals return he'll have a better resume for the cover of Madden NFL 2013.
3. Clay Matthews, LB
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Matthews may have been snubbed for the Defensive Player of the Year award, but his golden locks still have a shot at the Madden cover.
Since he played in the Super Bowl, forced a crucial fumble, and has become one of the best linebackers in the NFL in only his second season, he could be number two on this list.
The only thing going against the well-known beast is that he is not a quarterback. There has only been one defensive player on the cover, Ray Lewis in 2005.
Although he may not quite have the status of Lewis, his all out play, especially in Super Bowl XLV, could land him on the front of Madden NFL 2012.
2. Tom Brady, QB
Brady has won three Super Bowls, winning the MVP twice. He has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since Madden NFL started putting players on the cover instead of John Madden, yet he still hasn't been chosen.
This season he won the Offensive Player of the Year Award as well as the league MVP. His stats were unreal, 36 TD to only four interceptions.
If he could have taken the Pats to the Super Bowl, he'd probably be first on this list. However, the number one most likely candidate for the Madden NFL 2012 cover is....
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB
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Rodgers is the most likely candidate for the cover of Madden for a multitude of reasons.
First of all, he led his injury-depleted team to a Super Bowl victory by playing lights out at the end of the season and through three road playoff games. Plus a quarterback has been on the cover of Madden five times since 2002.
Second and most importantly, the last two covers have featured players who made a presence in the Super Bowl. Rodgers threw for over 300 yards and 3 TDs in the big game, and without big drops by his receivers, he could have boosted those numbers immensely.
He was named the most valuable player in Green Bay's win over the Steelers and brought another Lombardi Trophy to Titletown. The Super Bowl XLV MVP, Aaron Rodgers, is the prime choice for poster boy of Madden NFL 2012.