Which Ravens Broke Madden Cover Curse To Have Great Seasons?

Which Ravens Broke Madden Cover Curse To Have Great Seasons?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The sports world just loves curses. And we’re not just talking about bad beats on the best sports betting app Maryland sites.

There’s the Curse of the Bambino (Boston Red Sox). And then there’s the Curse of the Billy Goat (Chicago Cubs). Of course, Sports Illustrated carried a legendary magazine cover jinx/curse with victims too numerous to mention.

Which brings to mind still another black cat/broken mirror/walking under a ladder distinction: Appearing on the cover of the Madden video football game.

Like the SI mag cover, Madden victims litter the NFL landscape.

Victims of ‘Madden Curse’ Abound

Former Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis, a one-hit wonder in 2010, goes to the head of the class. Vince Young, once the quarterback hope in Tennessee and the 2008 Madden cover subject, saw his career eventually fade. The list is long.

But the Madden Curse has been defied by some NFL stars who flourished rather than foundered immediately after making the cover.

The Baltimore Ravens have two examples – both Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and current quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Customers using the Caesars Maryland promo code can get +2200 odds on Jackson leading the Ravens to victory in the Super Bowl in the upcoming season.

Josh Allen is Madden 24 Cover Athlete

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen has been named as the Madden 24 cover athlete. So BetMaryland.com used Pro-Football-Reference.com's “approximate value” stat to determine which athletes have had the most productive NFL seasons in the year that they graced the popular video game’s cover. 

PFR explains its approximate value stat this way: “This is our attempt to put a single number on each player-season since 1960 so that we can (very approximately) compare across years and across positions.”

In evaluating Madden Cover players who defied the “curse”, BetMaryland, your home for Maryland online sports betting coverage, excluded the late John Madden, who has been on the cover 12 times, and Detroit running back Barry Sanders, who retired long before he appeared on the cover for Madden 25 (2014).

Best Seasons For Players on Madden Cover

Madden/Year Player Approximate Value Notable Stats
Madden 18 (2017)Tom Brady2013-3 Record, 4,577 Passing Yards, 66.3% Completion,32 TD, 8 INT
Madden 22 (2021)Patrick Mahomes & Brady18 (Mahomes)12-5 Record, 4,839 Yards, 66.3% Completion, 37 TD, 13 INT, 381 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TD (Mahomes)
Madden 21 (2020)Lamar Jackson1811-4 Record, 2,757 Yards, 64.4% Completion, 26 TD, 9 INT, 1,005 Rushing Yards, 7 Rushing TD
Madden 15 (2014)Richard Sherman1812-4 Record, 4 INT, 8 PD, 1 FF, 57 TKL, 2 TFL
Madden 05 (2004)Ray Lewis189-7 Record, 147 TKL, 6 TFL, 1 SK, 1 FF, 2 FR, 6 PD

Lamar Jackson Thrived After Appearance

Current Baltimore quarterback Jackson deservedly made the game cover for the 2020 edition of the game following one of the most dazzling seasons in NFL history in 2019. In that stunning campaign, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns (just six interceptions) while running for 1,206 yards and seven TDs. 

After the cover appearance in 2020, Jackson was still a breathtaking dual threat, passing for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns (with just nine interceptions) while running for 1,005 yards and seven scores. Jackson was also 11-4 as the starting QB that season. Pro-football-reference.com gave Jackson an AV score of 18.

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Nothing Stopped Ravens Legend Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis was the Madden cover player for 2004 after a season in which the inside linebacker was the Defensive Player of the Year, had six interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two fumble recoveries, and 163 total tackles, seven for loss. 

Lewis, after appearing on the game cover, had a season with 147 tackles, seven for loss, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and six passes defended. Those numbers might have been short of the phenomenal preceding season, but Lewis was still a first-team All-Pro in 2004, and in the PFR statistical ranking, he earned an 18.

As the NFL season draws near, BetMaryland will bring you further Ravens coverage plus the best Maryland sportsbook promos.




Bill Ordine

Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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