Jamaal Charles reaches Elite Eight

Jamaal Charles is a happy man.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ star running back is one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming the "Madden" cover man. In ESPN.com’s “SportsNation” vote to determine which player will be on the cover of “Madden 12,” Charles has reached the quarterfinals. He edged out Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Charles will face Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis in the next round. Voting extends through next Monday.

Charles is the AFC West’s lone remaining candidate. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who was the No. 1 seed on his side of the bracket, was knocked off by Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, 56 percent to 44 percent.

Had Rivers gotten by Peterson, it would have setup a juicy quarterfinal matchup. Peterson will face New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. Rivers replaced Brees as the Chargers’ quarterback in 2006.