Another year and another shocker provided in KACSPORTS simulation where the past 50 NFL seasons are played in an alternative reality.
With Mark Rypien under center, Joe Gibbs Washington team piled up points at a ridiculous pace en route to securing the franchises third and most impressive Super Bowl championship in Super Bowl XXVI.
But the New Orleans Saints had a good team in their own right, especially on the defensive side with a generational linebacking crew of Sam Mills, Rickey Jackson, Pat Swillig and Vaughan Johnson.
Problem was, the playoffs and coach Jim Mora just never got along.
A few bullet points
- An even weaker year than normal for the AFC. The Broncos earned a first-round bye with an 11-5 mark and the Steelers and Browns filled out the playoff field with respective 8-8 records.
- The Green Bay Packers defied odds and appeared headed to the playoffs with a 9-3 record after 12 games. But the Pack would lose their last four games to miss the postseason. New General Manager Ron Wolf would clean house shortly thereafter.
- The Phoenix Cardinals went 0-16, the seventh team in the simulation to record a winless season.
- In real life, the San Francisco 49ers missed the playoffs despite an 11-5 record. In the sim, the Niners clinched a first round home game on the final Monday night of the regular season while eliminating the Chicago Bears from playoff consideration.
As a number six seed, the Detroit Lions repeated their real-life run to the NFC Championship Game. Rodney Peete threw a late touchdown pass to eliminate the Vikings in the wild card round, the Lions then shocked top-seeded Washington the following week with Peete scoring himself in the final seconds. The Lions season would end at the Louisiana Superdome as the Saints defense completely shut down Barry Sanders.
In the AFC, the Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills reprised the real-life classic wild card game from a year later in the conference championship. Warren Moon threw two touchdown passes in the waning minutes to force overtime at 31-31. The Bills won the overtime coin toss, and despite going into a frigid wind Thurman Thomas scored on a 48-yard touchdown run as Buffalo reprised their actual Super Bowl appearance.
The Saints made the trip upstream to the frozen section of the Mississippi River for the Super Bowl at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. For three and a half quarters the Saints defense shut down the Bills just as they did Detroit. Jim Kelly threw two late touchdown passes, but it would not be enough as the Saints prevailed 21-16.
In their first Super Bowl appearance the Saints got the championship that did not come until 18 years later in the real world while the Bills dropped to 0-3 in simulation Super Bowls.