Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Bradford vs. Fitzgerald; Willis vs. 12th Man
By Mike Sando
Thoughts on NFC West candidates to grace the "Madden 12" cover based on voting through ESPN.com:
- The St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford has only one NFL season to his credit, but he's seeded higher than his more accomplished first-round opponent, Larry Fitzgerald. Bradford has the fresher face. Fitzgerald has graced the "Madden" cover previously, sharing it with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu. Fitzgerald gets my vote. We know he'll live up to expectations if healthy. We think Bradford will. Anyone think Steven Jackson should have gotten the call for St. Louis?
- The San Francisco 49ers' Patrick Willis is a No. 7 seed against the 10th-seeded Seattle Seahawks' 12th Man. Willis is the obvious choice for San Francisco. The Seahawks don't have an obvious choice on their roster. They have no sure starting quarterback and no players coming off a Pro Bowl season. They're not even sure which players will be on their roster. They do have really loud fans. Willis has silenced them on occasion, like when he returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown at Qwest Field in 2008. But they drowned out the 49ers in Week 1 last season.
First-round voting runs through March 27, with results announced late next month.
The Bradford-Fitzgerald winner faces the Aaron Rodgers-Ndamukong Suh winner in the second round. The Willis-12th Man winner faces the Hines Ward-Carlos Dunlap winner.