Detroit Lions fans and fantasy football faithful are wondering what’s wrong with Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Believers in the Madden Curse would say the game’s cover tells the story. The star wide receiver won the cover vote, defeating Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the finals. Some Carolina supporters who believe in the curse voted for Johnson in hopes of “saving” Newton. While it’s precious little consolation to the Lions, Newton’s certainly playing like he’s cursed.
Johnson has only a single touchdown through Week 8 of the NFL season. He had nine scores in the first five games of 2011. His struggles continued against the Seattle Seahawks, posting only three catches for 46 yards. Even worse, the typically surehanded receiver dropped three passes. One would have been a touchdown had he brought it in. The good thing for Johnson is his team won anyway.
Skeptics would argue there are several real world, logical reasons statistical drop-offs may have happened. Detroit’s other receivers include unheralded players such as Titus Young and Ryan Broyles. Nate Burleson, the most experienced of the group, is out for the season with a broken leg. The Lions’ rushing attack is equally devoid of superstars. Taking Johnson away and daring any of Detroit’s other players to beat them is now the way teams defend the Lions.
Johnson is the Madden NFL 13 cover athlete, but Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis features prominently as well. He gives a passionate speech about football as part of the game’s intro:
Man, if that speech doesn’t make you want to tackle somebody, you may be a little dead inside. Lewis’ 2012-13 campaign is over after tearing his tricep. Does the Madden Curse now extend to players featured in the intro?