news\ Apr 11, 2013 at 10:25 am

Madden NFL 25 cover vote whittled down to the final four


We're still a few weeks away from crowning our Madden NFL 25 cover athlete, but the picture is getting a little clearer. After another week of fan voting, we are now down to the final four athletes: Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Arian Foster, and Adrian Peterson. Not a bad bunch. 

As usual, you have a week of voting in the semifinals until April 17 when the final matchup will begin. Here are this week's matchups which you can vote on at ESPN.

  • Detroit Lions Running Back Barry Sanders vs. San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Jerry Rice
  • Houston Texans Running Back Arian Foster vs. Minnesota Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson

I can honestly say I wouldn't mind any of those players on the cover this year as they are all proven NFL stars worthy of the spotlight. Below are a few facts about each one to help you make a decision.

Barry Sanders: 15,269 career rushing yards, 109 career touchdowns. In 1997, Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards. Sanders abruptly retired from the NFL just 1,457 yards short of the NFL all-time rushing record at that time (now held by Emmitt Smith). Barry Sanders was a 10 time pro bowler and the third leading rusher in NFL history.

Jerry Rice: 1,549 receptions for 22,895 receiving yards and 208 touchdowns in his 20+ years in the NFL. He's the all-time NFL leader in receptions, touchdown receptions, and yards and a 13 time Pro Bowler. Rice also won three Super Bowl rings playing for the 49ers.

Arian Foster: Not a legend, but an emerging star. Peterson currently has 4,521 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns in just four NFL seasons. Foster is the third-fastest player to reach 5,000 yards from scrimmage (rushing + receiving yards) and is a three time Pro Bowler. Last season he rushed for 1,424 yards with 15 rushing touchdowns.

Adrian Peterson: Returning from a torn ACL and MCL, Peterson defied the odds last season. After a super-human recovery (just 8 months after the injury), Peterson went on to rush for 2,097 yards, the second-most ever for a running back in a single season. Entering week 17, Peterson needed 208 yards to break the record -- he finished just 8 yards shy. In his 6 year career, Peterson has 8,849 rushing yards with 76 rushing touchdowns. He also owns the record for most rushing yards in a single game (296).

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