Eight players have advanced to the third round of the Madden NFL 12 Cover Vote Bracket. A field that started at 32 players, one representing each NFL franchise, has been carved down to an Elite Eight. Top seed Philip Rivers fell to underdog Adrian Peterson while fellow number one seed Aaron Rodgers advanced to face the scrappy Danny Woodhead. Rodgers trounced Sam Bradford by more than 50% (76%-23.9%) while Peterson won by a surprisingly big margin (56%-43.9%). Jamaal Charles upset Maurice Jones-Drew by .3% to advance to face fellow unexpected winner Peyton Hillis, who defeated Matt Ryan by just under 3%. Woodhead easily advanced by defeating Hakeem Nicks (57.2%-42.7%). Drew Brees continued his march for the first repeat as Madden cover boy since John himself by obliterating Mark Sanchez (60.9%-39%). Unheralded Texans WR Andre Johnson continued to be just that as he was beaten by over 20% by dog lover Michael Vick (62.1%-37.8%). The strangely highly seeded Hines Ward showed exactly why that seed made no sense by losing to Patrick Willis by a sizeable margin (59.8%-40.1%). And by the way yes I know they don't add up to 100%. They're called estimations. Deal with it.
But Rodgers, being the only top 2 seed remaining, has to be considered a heavy favorite at this point. It's unlikely people would want a reoccurring cover athlete, which his two top competitors, Vick and Brees, would be. If it meant a game the quality of Madden 2004, I'd be all for Vick but unfortunately that ain't gonna happen. Rodgers destroyed Bradford and as a Packers fan, I'd say screw the curse, bring it on. Put A-Rod, Super Bowl XLV MVP, on the cover.
All voting can exclusively be done for Round 3 and beyond at www.ESPN.com/MaddenVote.