Patrick Mahomes, and a Recap of the Last Decade of the Madden Curse

After mounting three comeback playoff wins, securing the Super Bowl LIV title and MVP – you gotta wonder… Has Patrick Mahomes broken the Madden Curse?

The Madden Curse has claimed countless victims. Calvin Johnson, Michael Vick, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk… This list goes on. A lesser man might be daunted by this challenge, but Mahomes delivered an absurd comeback performance at Super Bowl LIV, and very well may have triumphed over a vaunted curse that has haunted lesser mortals.

So, lets take a look back at the last few years of the Madden series’ cover athletes, and see how Mahomes stacks up against the others over the course of this decade.

Madden ’10 – Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald. Maybe EA thought they were slick, and figured they could dupe the Madden Curse by putting TWO athletes on the cover. Au contraire. Larry Fitz suffered a rib injury that kept him out of the playoffs, and Polamalu suffered a number of knee injuries that limited him to only playing five games that following season.

Madden ’11 – Drew Brees. Had a great season, eclipsing 4,000 passing yards, which led New Orleans to be the biggest favorite in playoff history… They lost to the Seahawks in the first round.

Madden ’12 – Peyton Hillis. An absolute mess of illnesses, injuries and contract disputes plagued the Browns stud RB’s following season, and he never quite was the same.

Madden ’13 – Calvin Johnson. The first “curse-breaker” I can remember, had Megatron post almost 2,000 receiving yards.

Madden ’14 – Just when you thought Megatron had broken EA’s dark magic plaguing their cover athletes, Adrian Peterson misses 99% of his season after child abuse charges.

Madden ’15 – Richard Sherman:

Does this look like the face of a man who knows he’s been cursed?

Madden ’16 – Odell Beckham. While not the most disastrously “cursed” year to follow, OBJ really started making headlines in 2016 that accused him of rubbing people the wrong way, which eventually led to his move to Cleveland a few years later. Moving to Cleveland is just about as cursed as I can imagine being.

Madden ’17 – Rob Gronkowski. Sigh. I called this one back when he was announced as the cover athlete, and boy oh boy did the Madden Curse deliver. Gronk suffered a hamstring injury and a herniated disk, and started in only six games the season after he appeared on the Madden cover. Sigh (again).

Madden ’18 – Tom Brady. Super Bowl LII champion. But we already knew that the Madden curse doesn’t apply to gods.

Madden ’19 – Antonio Brown… Jesus Christ.

Madden ’20 – Patrick Mahomes, Super Bowl champion and MVP. Kid seems to be doing alright.

So, all in all, it looks like either the Madden Curse has decided to skip a year as of late, or maybe Tom Brady and his godly ways have lessened its powers. In any case, it looks like Patrick Mahomes has evaded the wrath of the Madden Curse for now…

I’ll be praying for next years’ cover athlete all the same.

Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.

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