Josh Allen beat the competition for ‘Madden NFL 24’ cover. Can he beat Madden Curse?

Josh Allen is framed waist up and wearing a blue jersey with No. 17 and a white helmet while he scrambles.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen scrambles during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Miami Dolphins in January in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(Adrian Kraus / Associated Press)
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It’s Josh Allen’s turn.

Considered one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL for years, the Buffalo Bills star finally has received perhaps the biggest of the league’s offseason honors: the Madden cover.

The iconic EA Sports video game premiered the trailer for this year’s edition, “Madden NFL 24,” on Wednesday morning. At the end we learned that Allen will grace the cover, making him the first Bills player to grace the main cover.


“A childhood dream come true,” tweeted Allen, who’s from Firebaugh, Calif.

Now he faces what might be the most daunting foe of his career — the so-called Madden Curse.

Before he became an NFL star, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen made a name for himself in Firebaugh, Calif., a town very proud of its native son.

Jan. 23, 2021

OK, so the Curse really hasn’t been much of a thing lately. Obviously, last year doesn’t count since EA gave the game’s namesake, Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster John Madden, the cover less than a year after his death on Dec. 28, 2021.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and then-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shared the cover prior to the 2021 season, and both ranked among the top four in passing yards that season (Brady first with a career-high 5,316 and Mahomes fourth with 4,839, which was his career high at the time).

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was the league MVP in 2019, then graced the Madden cover ahead of the following season. His numbers dipped a bit that year and he did miss a game while on the COVID list, but that’s nothing compared to what the Curse was capable of in its heyday (just ask Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson and Vince Young, among many others).

Allen has avoided any major injuries during his five years in the NFL and his production has been consistently excellent since his breakthrough season in 2020. Here’s hoping the Curse won’t rear its ugly head this year.


NFL star John Madden, who reached the top of his profession in coaching, announcing and video games, died unexpectedly Tuesday morning at age 85.

Dec. 28, 2021