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4 Months After Becoming the Face of Madden, Josh Allen Is Proving to Be the Latest Member of the Dreaded Curse

Published 11/14/2023, 9:19 AM EST

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In June of this year, the Buffalo Bills’ standout player, Josh Allen, was honored as the cover athlete for Madden 24. While this is considered prestigious, there’s a superstition surrounding the Madden cover. According to this curse, many players who grace the cover have faced declines in their careers, failed to perform at their peak potential, or even departed from the NFL entirely.

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After the announcement of Allen as the face of Madden, a segment of the NFL community expressed concern about him potentially encountering similar challenges as his predecessors who graced the cover. Now, it appears that those doubts about Allen’s fate are materializing into reality.

Josh Allen and the Madden Curse


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On Monday night, the Bills faced another disappointing loss against the Denver Broncos, a team with one of the worst defense in the league, with a final score of 22-24. This defeat puts the Bills at 5-5 in the league. Expectations were high for Allen to guide his team to victory and uplift their overall performance, especially after facing three defeats in their last five games. However, Allen failed miserably. Allen managed only 177 passing yards, marking his second-lowest total of the season. Also, he secured just one touchdown while throwing two interceptions. Now, there is more aggressive discussion surrounding the belief that Josh Allen is struggling with the Madden curse.



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In week 6, he suffered a shoulder injury, and since then, his performance has consistently declined. Following the injury, before the game against the Broncos, he was only able to complete 3 of 15 passes, including one interception. While he remains among the top NFL quarterbacks, he has not displayed the peak performance seen in previous seasons. Last season, he played 16 games, scoring 35 touchdowns and throwing 14 interceptions. However, in the current season, spanning 10 games, he has only scored 19 touchdowns. It appears challenging for Allen to replicate his performance from last year, given his current form.

History of the Madden Curse

Madden is considered as the most popular American football video game, originating in 1988. For over a decade, John Madden graced the cover of the game. Subsequently, 23 players have been on the cover of the Madden. The curse seemingly began with Barry Sanders, who featured after Madden. He abruptly exited the NFL and never returned to the field. His next three successors struggled with this curse. It soon became a pattern, hinting that most players faced their worst seasons, suffered injuries, or exited the league suddenly after being on the cover of Madden.


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Fans and many in the NFL world labeled it a curse. The phenomenon gained such prominence that EASports publicly denied its existence. However, statistics also validate this curse: over 56% of cover athletes witnessed an 80-point decline in PPR fantasy production in the season they were featured, while 37% suffered major injuries, some ending their NFL careers.

Under Pressure Josh Allen Responsible for Faltering Start Inside the First 10 Minutes as Bills QB Gains an Unwanted Record


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Legends such as Eddie George, Shaun Alexander, and Peyton Hillis have fallen victim to this curse. Only a handful of players, like Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, and Patrick Mahomes, were able to break this curse. Do you think the Madden curse also affected Josh Allen? Let us know your thoughts.

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Written by:

Abhishek Therkar


One take at a time

An avid reader, my love for reading got me interested in journalism. After pursuing my masters in Media and Cultural Studies, I explored my writing skills by indulging in script writing. Later, in an attempt to switch things up, I decided to get into content creation.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav