'Madden 24' cover goes to Bills QB Josh Allen

Welcome to the "Madden" family, Josh Allen.

The Buffalo Bills quarterback will grace the cover of "Madden NFL 24," joining a list of players — some legendary and some not — to be given the honor. He'll be the first athlete on the cover since 2021 after the game honored the passing of its titular coach, John Madden, this past year.

Allen is also the first Bills player to be named the cover athlete since the game started adding players in 1994.

Allen's ascent to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL has been a practice in patience. After a poor rookie season and an OK sophomore campaign, he's completed at least 63% of his passing attempts and thrown for at least 4,200 yards in each of the past three seasons. That's helped turn the Bills into one of the top teams in the AFC. However, Buffalo hasn't been able to advance past the Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals in the postseason.

Despite all that, the Bills still have the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl (+800) and the second-best odds to win the AFC (+400), per BetMGM).

Josh Allen is the first Buffalo Bills player on the cover of
Josh Allen is the first Buffalo Bills player on the cover of "Madden." (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Bills add infamous 'Madden' curse to 2023 season

As if the Bills needed more nefarious energy to contend with during their Super Bowl aspirations, the "Madden" curse is one which will likely continuously be referenced all season.

The legend of the curse is (or was, depending on if you believe in it now or anymore) that the player on the cover of that year's "Madden" game tragically suffers either a season-plaguing injury or sees a drop in productivity. There are a few past examples, but the curse appears to be slowly fading as the years move forward.

While neither Tom Brady nor Patrick Mahomes — the two cover athletes for "Madden NFL 22" in 2021 — won the Super Bowl that season, both enjoyed exceptional seasons. Perhaps that's because both already broke their individual curses when Mahomes won Super Bowl MVP during his solo-cover year in 2019 and Brady won regular-season MVP in 2017 (but lost in the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles).

They weren't the only curse-breakers, either. Players like Lamar Jackson, Odell Beckham Jr., and Calvin Johnson all enjoyed successful seasons the same year they were named the cover athlete.

So fret not, Bills fans. Unless you think this will impact the team's Super Bowl curse from the 1990s.