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Madden ’13 Cover Vote: Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson Advance to Finals

Around this time next week, football fans will officially know which NFL player will be featured on the Madden 13 Cover–either Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton or Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

The two superstars advanced to the finals on Wednesday after surviving the first four rounds–which started back on March 21. For the second-straight year, EA Sports teamed up with ESPN to allow fans to vote for which players they want to see on the cover by hosting a 32-player tournament.

After former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis became the first player to ever win the tournament, Newton and Johnson may want to be cautious about winning the contest this year due to all of the suspicions surrounding the “Madden Curse.” After breaking out in 2010, Hillis failed to live up to the hype for an encore performance and his 2011 campaign was a disaster after finishing with just 587 rushing yards and three touchdowns–which may be part of the reason why he’s no longer on the Browns after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason.

Either way, both Newton and Johnson are worthy of being featured on this year’s cover after the type of season displayed in 2011. While Newton went on to have one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history (4,051 passing yards with 21 touchdowns to go along with 706 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground), Johnson proved all of his doubters wrong by showing he has what it takes to be considered one of the top wide receivers in the NFL (1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns).

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