After the New England Patriots embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in their home opener, the Patriots had to come into Week 2 ready. They were up against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, and although the Patriots took the win, 36-20, something still did not feel right.
Tom Brady Named Madden NFL ’18 Cover Athlete
Back in May of this year, Tom Brady was named the cover of Madden NFL ’18. Given that Brady and his team had just pulled off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, being named the cover of Madden would be the cherry on top to their historic season. Tight end, Rob Gronkowski, was the cover athlete the year before and this was the first time one NFL team had two of their players selected as covers back to back.
Now for some of us that are new to sports or gaming, or just don’t know, there is this curse and its called the “Madden curse”. Coincidentally, athletes who grace the cover of a Madden NFL game, somehow end up injured. This is not the case for all the athletes who have been on the cover, but a large majority of athletes who were on the cover ended up injured in the following season.
For example, Gronkowski was named the 2017 NFL Madden cover athlete and had a season-ending injury in the 2016 season. Adrian Peterson, Peyton Hillis, Drew Brees, and others had a similar type of fate after being on the cover. A curse or just coincidence, the Patriots were about to learn the hard way of having one of their players on the cover. Now let’s flash forward to Sunday’s game.
Week 2: New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints
The New England Patriots were at New Orleans eager to take on the Saints and redeem themselves from their home opening game disaster. Offensively, the Pats were ready. Tom Brady connected for three touchdowns in the first quarter, the first time ever in his career. Brady and his team were clearly hungry for the win. The Saints would answer right back and stay close to the Patriots up until the 4th quarter. The Patriots managed to pull away and beat the Saints 36-20. Although the Patriots won, they lost many players along the way.
“Madden Curse” Strikes, Kinda
The most notable of the injured players was Grownkowski, who in the second half, called for help after a catch. We later saw him on a stationary bike pedaling away and it was announced that he would not return to the game after suffering groin issues.
After catching a 19-yard touchdown, Rex Burkhead was also out of the game due to a rib injury. Phillip Dorsett was then also spotted in the medical tent during the game and was later said to have knee issues. Towards the end of the game, Chris Hogan was seen limping around and icing his knee, although he was never fully out of the game. Lastly, Eric Rowe sidelined in the 4th quarter with a groin injury.
Injured players continue to add up for the New England Patriots. They join the list of already injured Patriots: Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and many more. So although the Patriots won against the Saints, all the injuries are adding up and it gives an ominous sense that something could still happen.
The Madden curse is real and it is striking, kinda. Brady might be healthy now and might stay healthy, but his offense is taking a hit. Brady without his reliable receivers could be a problem for the Patriots. Now, most of the players might be back sooner rather than later and heal quickly, but this isn’t the kind of distraction that the reigning Super Bowl champs need.
The Patriots getting their first win of the season against the Saints is something that Patriots fans should definitely be happy about, but they should also be wary of the growing injury list. New England takes on the lackluster Houston Texans next.