In what has become one of the more anticipated light-hearted moments of the NFL offseason, the Madden video game franchise announced its cover athlete last week, with one wrinkle.
Usually fans can look forward to debating whether the athlete deserved the distinction, but for Madden NFL 22, two quarterbacks will be front and center.
Let the debate begin about whether Brady and Mahomes are invincible with regards to the Madden curse.
The 2022 cover features one player who will go down as the greatest quarterback of all time, and another who figures to win multiple Super Bowls.
However, the Madden cover has not always featured such football royalty.
Let’s take a look at the two worst players to grace the storied game’s cover.
2. Peyton Hillis (2012 Cover)
On the surface, Peyton Hillis’ story is nothing short of inspirational.
A kid from Arkansas who loved the game of football gets a chance to play for the state school.
Despite his unorthodox (for the time) throwback style of playing running back, Hillis got playing time in each of his four seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks, which was good enough to compel the Denver Broncos to select him in round seven of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Despite his pedestrian production through two years in Denver, Hillis had the eye of the Cleveland Browns, who traded for him before the 2010 season.
Even though he wasn’t supposed to be the featured back initially with the Browns, Hillis stepped in and put up the type of year Pro Bowl running backs routinely do.
He rushed for 1,177 yards in 2010 with 11 touchdowns on the ground.
However, after that remarkable campaign, Hillis went back to his mortal ways, never compiling more than 587 rushing yards in any season of his career.
It’s an excellent, feel-good story, but Hillis’ one flash in the pan season in a seven-year career makes him a prime candidate for the list.
Also, shoutout to Peyton Hillis for making a cameo 🔥 https://t.co/0dqDMIV6kp
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) June 14, 2021
1. Vince Young (2008 Cover)
Coming out of the University of Texas, quarterback Vince Young seemed to check most of the boxes as an elite prospect.
He had great size, strength, and mobility, which should’ve translated into a Russell Wilson-like ability to extend plays and do damage with his legs.
Young also had the pocket presence to find open receivers down the field.
As a Longhorn, he also played in some of the highest-profile games in college football history, including a primetime showdown with the USC Trojans, where he led Texas to an upset win.
Young was drafted third overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 NFL Draft.
To put it kindly, he never came close to reaching the promise he had as a passer.
In three of his six NFL seasons, Young threw for more interceptions than he did touchdowns.
— Chris Bennett (CB) (@chrisgb002000) June 16, 2021
He also struggled with fumbles in his first couple years in the league, adding to the turnover woes.
Young’s ability as a scrambler did keep his career afloat, as he rushed for seven touchdowns in his rookie season.
He ended up only playing six seasons in the NFL, and the idea of who he could become was way more impressive than his actual production on the field.