Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman will provide plenty of excitement next Sunday at the Meadowlands, but NFL players want to see another player in the Super Bowl even more.
In another round of ESPN’s NFL Nation Confidential survey, more than 320 NFL players voted in an anonymous poll that they want to see Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in the Super Bowl more than any other player who’s never played in the game.
“That’s pretty cool,” Peterson said. “It feels good. I guess guys are able to see the passion that I play with, the desire I play with, and they respect it enough to make that type of statement.”
Peterson came within minutes of a trip to Super Bowl XLIV when the Vikings lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-28 in overtime of the 2010 NFC Championship Game. The 28-year-old led the Vikings back to the playoffs during the 2012 season, which he finished with 2,097 rushing yards (second-most all time), but they fell to the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers and haven’t made it any closer to the big game since their failed attempt five seasons ago.
Peterson, who earned 18.4 percent (59) of the votes, finished just a hair ahead of Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (56) in the poll. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was third with 8.1 percent (26), and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who will play in his first Super Bowl next Sunday, came in fourth with 4.7 percent (15). The final data also revealed that 88 players received at least one vote in the poll.
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