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Friday, March 25, 2011
Charles blowing by Tebow in cover run

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Look at this.

Production is beating popularity. How refreshing.

In ESPN’s SportsNation vote to for the “Madden 12” cover man contest, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles is crushing Denver second-year quarterback Tim Tebow in a first-round matchup. As of Friday afternoon, Charles has 64 percent of the voters, while Tebow has 36 percent.

Tebow-maniacs have until Noon ET Monday to cast their votes. This Charles landslide is a bit surprising since Tebow has so many fans. This is the way it should be. Charles is the No. 6 seed and Tebow is the No. 11 seed in their side of the 32-man bracket. Each team has a candidate.

I really didn’t think Tebow deserved to be his team’s candidate. Champ Bailey is Denver’s best player. Tebow has started three games. But I understand the selection. He is immensely popular.

But it’s nice to see Charles being recognized. He was second in the NFL in rushing last season and he is one of the league’s most exciting players. Unless there is a drastic change, it seems like the more productive player to date will move on to the second round.

The other AFC West matchup is No. 1 seed Philip Rivers of San Diego against No. 16 seed Darren McFadden of Oakland. SportsNation did not disclose, the exact voting numbers, but it said Rivers is leading McFadden thus far.