Throughout the 1993 Sim NFL season it appeared two franchises would break long-standing hexes. The Dallas Cowboys (hexed in the sim) and Houston Oilers (hexed in sim and real-life, cruised through the regular season and earned first-round byes.
Then the playoffs began.
- In real life, there was no dominant team in 1993, the Cowboys and Oilers were among those with the best record at 12-4.
- Sim-wise Joe Montana did not go well in his first season with Kansas City. The Chiefs finished dead last at 6-10 as opposed to their actual 11-5 AFC West championship record.
- The San Francisco 49ers had an off-year in virtual reality, although the 8-8 record still won the NFC West. The real-life version won the division at 10-6. The Buffalo Bills were not as fortunate, missing the AFC playoffs entirely at 8-8.
- The Cowboys sim season ended with a win over the New York Giants where Emmitt Smith rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns, in the real-life game Emmitt rushed for 168 yards with a separated shoulder and the division title on the line. Barry Sanders also accounted for 275 yards from scrimmage in a Week 17 sim loss to the Packers.
- Four of six teams replicated their actual division championships, while 10 of the 12 real-life playoff participants also went to the postseason in the sim.
The carnage started immediately in the playoffs, as three of four home teams lost on Wild Card Weekend. The top-seeded Oilers then lost to the six-seeded Chargers in the Divisional round, as in real-life Warren Moon’s ten years with the Oilers ends without a Super Bowl appearance. The six-seeded Packers lost in Dallas while the Vikings lost in Detroit.
For the eighth time since 1970 the Cowboys played in the sim NFC Championship game, and for the eighth time the Cowboys lost, this time at home to the Vikings 31-17. In the AFC Championship the fifth-seeded Raiders won a 10-6 decision over San Diego to complete the Wild Card Super Bowl matchup. The Raiders Super Bowl XXVIII appearance marks the 10th all-time for a Los Angeles Coliseum tenant.
The uniform combination shown above of the circa-1993 Vikings and Raiders look fantastic on a sunny Southern California afternoon. It would not have looked as sparkling on the artificial turf under the lights of the Georgia Dome.
In real life the Raiders finished 10-6 and the Vikings 9-7, as opposed to 10-6 and 11-5 in the sim. Both teams had negative point differentials at -20 and -13 respectively.
Jim McMahon throws a touchdown pass to Steve Jordan with 2:23 remaining to put the Vikes ahead, Vencie Glenn then picks off a Jeff Hostetler pass and takes it to the house to seal the 31-17 win.
The Vikings emerged victorious for their fourth Super Bowl championship in as many appearances while the Raiders lost their third Super Bowl in seven years and dropped to 1-4 all-time.