The results from the first round of the Madden NFL 25 cover competition that came in yesterday will help to provide some insight on where the voting base in trending and the chances for each entrant going forward. Interestingly all of the 10 seeds in the running through both brackets advanced but are facing almost sure elimination as they go up against the 2 seeds. While a few upsets took place early in the competition any significant ones now seem unlikely to occur. With the second round running until next Wednesday and trimmed down to 16 legends and 16 current stars here is a look at how things are shaping up in the “Old School” bracket.
vs #9 Jerome Bettis
Bettis won in easy fashion over Curtis Martin which was anticipated given the expected support of the respective fan bases. Montana rolled with 92% as the push some had made to try and disrupt the tournament by propelling Jake Delhomme along failed miserably. Montana shouldn’t have much trouble here and will probably come away with around 80% of the vote.
vs #4 Dan Marino
Both faced opponents who were questionable reps in the first round and took 77% and 83% respectively. There isn’t much to be gained then by analyzing those numbers. The round though demonstrated indications that players more recently in the consciousness of fans hold the advantage. For that reason Faulk gets the nod in a pairing that is tough to call.
vs #6 Marcus Allen
Sanders had the biggest margin of victory in round one with 95% over Ron Rivera. It’s hard to judge whether that is pure strength on Sanders’ side or that he faced Rivera who was never going to get any support no matter who he was up against. While Sanders may be hindered eventually by having just been featured on the NCAA cover it won’t happen here against Allen who was stuck representing the Chiefs rather than the Raiders and his lukewarm performance in round one provides no reason to think he can prevail.
vs #10 LaDainian Tomlinson
Tomlinson pulled the most surprising upset of the first round by not just beating Randall Cunningham but doing so with 71% of the vote. Ray Lewis taking only 78% of the vote over a 15 seed suggests he may fade when up against a strong opponent. That probably won’t happen until the next round though.
vs #9 Eddie George
It was a nice win for the former cover athlete George to advance but there is nothing to support the idea he could contend with Rice here. As with fellow 49er Montana it was an over 90% take for Rice in the first round.
vs #5 Michael Strahan
Both Warner and Strahan moved on in relatively easy fashion. Warner has been kept more on the minds of NFL fans with his gig on NFL Network and even his re-appearances in Madden 13’s Connected Careers mode. Strahan’s platform (Live With Kelly and Michael) is not going to translate to votes.
vs #6 Tim Brown
Brown was able to stave off Chad Johnson and his Twitter following in the first round while Aikman only pulled 79% against Deuce McAllister. That suggests some vulnerability for Aikman though it probably won’t be exposed until the next round.
vs #10 Terrell Davis
Going in Sanders had to be considered one of the three or four top possibilities to win the cover. No problems in the first round and shouldn’t have trouble here against Davis. A potential final four pairing in the legends bracket against Jerry Rice is one to look forward to.