After weeks of the highest seeds high-stepping all over the competition, we finally have a No. 1 knocked out of the tournament, as Colin Kaepernick has lost to Arian Foster in the Sweet 16 of the “Madden NFL 25” cover vote. In fact, three lower seeds pulled off upsets this week, with superstars like Ray Lewis, Andrew Luck and Kaepernick all getting bounced as we head into what looks to be a heated Elite Eight.
Last week I correctly predicted seven out of eight winners (giving me a record of 50-6 for the tournament so far). Here’s a look at who I see making it to the Final Four.
(1) Joe Montana versus (3) Barry Sanders
Are we going to see Joe Montana versus Jerry Rice in the semifinals? Too bad we couldn’t get Steve Young versus Joe Montana just to give the people of San Francisco something to truly get passionate about. Montana crushed Marino in the quarterfinals, while Barry had a tougher time against Ray Lewis than I expected. Looks like the old-school 49ers are going to continue to dominate the vote, even if Kaepernick couldn’t live up to his end of an all-San Francisco finals.
Winner: Joe Montana
(1) Jerry Rice versus (2) Deion Sanders
The battles these two used to have during their playing days were epic, as fans got to witness two of the best ever at their positions (if not the best), locked up in one-on-one coverage in their primes. Looking at the voting numbers through the first three rounds, both of these guys have been complete beasts, but Rice seems to have a bigger fan base in terms of overall votes, and I think the G.O.A.T. moves on to the Final Four.
Winner: Jerry Rice
(4) Arian Foster versus (3) Russell Wilson
To me, there’s no bigger surprise left in the tournament than Arian Foster, who has already taken down the likes of Kaepernick, Julio Jones and Danny Amendola. Then again, of all the players left in the tournament, Foster is not only the biggest gamer, he’s probably the best, admitting to marathon Xbox sessions lasting up to eight hours at a time. "It's part of who we are, part of our culture," he told me in a recent interview. "We're just always playing video games." For the third straight week, though, I’m picking against Foster. Let’s see if he proves me wrong yet again.
Winner: Russell Wilson
(1) Robert Griffin III versus (2) Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson continues to collect more votes per round than any other player in the new-school bracket, and it’s not even close. You have the player who looked superhuman last season recovering from a knee injury, going up against a quarterback trying to rehab a knee … for a shot at the Madden Curse. This can’t end well.
Winner: Adrian Peterson