American Football Database

The NFL playoffs following the 1993 NFL season led up to Super Bowl XXVIII. Since the 1993 regular season was conducted over 18 weeks (two byes per team), the traditional bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl was removed.

Playoff seeds
1 Buffalo Bills (East winner) Dallas Cowboys (East winner)
2 Houston Oilers (Central winner) San Francisco 49ers (West winner)
3 Kansas City Chiefs (West winner) Detroit Lions (Central winner)
4 Los Angeles Raiders New York Giants
5 Denver Broncos Minnesota Vikings
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Green Bay Packers


  Wild Card Playoffs Divisional Playoffs Conference Championships Super Bowl XXVIII
5  Minnesota 10  
4  N.Y. Giants 17  
  4  N.Y Giants 3  
    2  San Francisco 44  
  2  San Francisco 21  
  1  Dallas 38  
6  Green Bay 28  
3  Detroit 24  
  6  Green Bay 17
    1  Dallas 27  
  N1  Dallas 30
  A1  Buffalo 13
6  Pittsburgh 24  
3  Kansas City 27  
  3  Kansas City 28
    2  Houston 20  
  3  Kansas City 13
  1  Buffalo 30  
5  Denver 24  
4  L.A. Raiders 42  
  4  L.A. Raiders 23
    1  Buffalo 29  

Wild Card playoffs

January 8, 1994

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24 (OT)

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 10 0 7


Chiefs 7 0 3 14


at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery made the winning 32-yard field goal after 11:03 of overtime. The Steelers scored first on tight end Adrian Cooper's 10-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Neil O'Donnell. Kansas City then tied the game after backup quarterback Dave Krieg, who temporarily replaced injured starter Joe Montana, threw a 23-yard touchdown to wide receiver J.J. Birden. However, Pittsburgh scored 10 unanswered points in the second quarter: kicker Gary Anderson's 30-yard field goal and O'Donnell's 26-yard touchdown completion to wide receiver Ernie Mills. After Lowery made a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter, the Chiefs eventually tied the game in the fourth period with running back Marcus Allen's 2-yard touchdown. However, the Steelers marched 74-yards to take the lead on O'Donnell's third touchdown pass of the game, a 22-yard score to tight end Eric Green. In the final minutes of regulation, Keith Cash blocked a Pittsburgh punt and Fred Jones returned it to the Steelers 9-yard line. On fourth down, wide receiver Tim Barnett scored on a 7-yard touchdown reception from Montana to tie the game. Then after forcing Pittsburgh to punt, Kansas City drove 47 yards to set up Lowery's 43-yard field-goal attempt in the closing seconds, but the kick was wide right and thus the game went into overtime. Montana finished the game with 276 passing yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions.

NFC: Green Bay Packers 28, Detroit Lions 24

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 0 7 14 7


Lions 3 7 7 7


at Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

In week 17, the Lions defeated Green Bay 30-20, intercepting four passes from quarterback Brett Favre and winning despite playing without their best offensive star, running back Barry Sanders. The win gave them homefield advantage for this game. But even though Sanders recovered from his injury in time for the playoffs, this time the Packers won by overcoming a 17-7 third quarter deficit and pulling ahead on Favre's 40-yard game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Sterling Sharpe with 55 seconds left.

Detroit held the ball for over 10 minutes in the first quarter, but could only score 3 points. Early in the game, a 25-yard run by Sanders with an additional 15 yards added on by a facemask penalty on LeRoy Butler sparked a drive deep into Green Bay terrority, but it ended with no points when Packers defensive back Terrell Buckley intercepted a pass from Erik Kramer in the end zone. After forcing a punt, the Lions drove back, mostly on receptions by Brett Perriman, and scored on Jason Hanson's 47-yard field goal on the last play of the first quarter.

Green Bay responded to the field goal with Favre's 12-yard touchdow pass to Sharpe. Then Green Bay caught a break when their kickoff hit the ground near the sideline, bounced into returner Mel Gray and then bounced out of bounds at the Lions 5-yard line. But it didn't stop Detroit as they still drove 95 yards, featuring a 44-yard run by Sanders and a 13-yard 3rd down conversion reception by Perriman after the ball bounced off Sanders' hands, and scored on Perriman's one handed 1-yard touchdown reception to take a 10-7 lead at the end of the half.

Midway through the third period, Jim Arnold's punt pinned Green Bay at their own 5-yard line. Two plays later, Detroit defensive back Melvin Jenkins intercepted a pass from Favre and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown to extend the Lions' lead, 17-7. But the Packers countered with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Sharpe. Then with Detroit deep inside Green Bay territory, Packers safety George Teague intercepted Kramer's pass in the end zone and returned it a playoff record 101 yards to give the Packers a 21-17 lead. But on their very next drive Lions would regain the lead on running back Derrick Moore's 5-yard touchdown with 8:27 left in the fourth quarter.

Corey Harris' 45-yard kickoff return gave the Packers good field position, but they were unable to take advantage and had to punt after demoralizing third down play in which Favre overthrew wide open receiver Mark Clayton near the end zone. After forcing a punt, Robert Brooks' 21-yard return gave Green Bay the ball on their own 29-yard line with 2:24 left in regulation. Favre started off the drive with an 11-yard completion to Edgar Bennett. His next pass to tight end Ed West moved the ball to midfield, and he followed it up with a completion to Sharpe on the Lions 40-yard line. On the next play, he took the snap and ran left. Defensive back Kevin Scott, who was covering Sharpe one on one along the right sideline, slowed down a bit when he saw Favre running, just enough for Sharpe to pull ahead of him and Favre launched a 40-yard pass to Sharpe in the end zone for the game winning score.

Sanders had the best postseason performance of his career, finishing the game with 167 rushing yards. Perriman caught 10 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown. Sharpe, who had not practiced in the last 8 weeks due to turf toe (though he was still able to play in games) and had set the NFL single season record for receptions in their week 17 meeting against Detroit, caught five passes for 101 yards and tied a playoff record with 3 touchdown receptions. This was Scott's last game in the NFL.

This was featured on NFL's Greatest Games as Favre to Sharpe.

January 9, 1994

NFC: New York Giants 17, Minnesota Vikings 10

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 0 10 0 0


Giants 3 0 14 0


at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

A howling, gusting wind dominated the game as both teams could only score with the wind. However, the Giants managed to score two touchdowns, both by running back Rodney Hampton in the third quarter, to pull ahead for good. New York had the wind advantage in the first quarter, but could only score on kicker David Treadwell's 26-yard field goal. But after the teams switched sides at the start of second period, the Vikings scored 10 unanswered points: a 40-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Jim McMahon to wide receiver Cris Carter, and kicker Fuad Reveiz's 52-yard field goal. The Giants had the wind again in the third quarter, and on their first drive of the second half, Hampton scored on a 51-yard rushing touchdown. Then after a short punt gave New York the ball at the Minnesota 26-yard line, Hampton rushed for a 2-yard touchdown. Although the Vikings held the wind advantage again during the final period, the Giants defense managed to shut them down to preserve the victory.

Hampton finished the game with 33 carries for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 6 receptions for 24 yards.

AFC: Los Angeles Raiders 42, Denver Broncos 24

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Broncos 7 14 0 3


Raiders 14 7 14 7


at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

After a 21-21 tie at halftime, Raiders running back Napoleon McCallum scored three rushing touchdowns in the second half to lead his team to the victory. In the first half, both Raiders quarterback Jeff Hostetler and Broncos quarterback John Elway each threw 3 touchdowns. However, in the third quarter, a short punt enabled Los Angeles to take over the ball at the Denver 35-yard line, and to set up McCallum's 26-yard touchdown. Another short punt by the Broncos allowed the Raiders to take over at the Denver 48-yard line, and Hostetler's 33-yard pass to tight end Ethan Horton enabled McCallum to record a 2-yard touchdown. After Broncos kicker Jason Elam made a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead, 35-24, in the fourth quarter, the Raiders marched 76 yards to score on McCallum's 1-yard touchdown to clinch the victory.

Hostetler had one of the best performances of his career, completing 13 of 19 passes for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. Elway completed 29 of 47 passes for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception, while also rushing for 23 yards. Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe tied a playoff record with 13 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown.

To date, this was the most recent NFL playoff game played in the city of Los Angeles.


Divisional playoffs

January 15, 1994

AFC: Buffalo Bills 29, Los Angeles Raiders 23

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 0 17 6 0


Bills 0 13 9 7


at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

In one of the coldest games in NFL history, the Bills overcame a 17-6 Raiders lead by scoring three times in a span of 6:18 in the second half. After a scoreless first quarter, Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead with kicker Jeff Jaeger's 30-yard field goal. Buffalo countered with running back Kenneth Davis' 1-yard touchdown but the extra point attempt failed. The Raiders then jumped to a 17-6 lead with two touchdowns by running back Napoleon McCallum. But aided by a 37-yard pass interference penalty, Bills running back Thurman Thomas scored on an 8-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead, 17-13.

Buffalo then scored three times a span of 6:18 of the final two periods to put the game away. Quarterback Jim Kelly first threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bill Brooks. Then after Bills defensive back Henry Jones recovered a fumble by McCallum, kicker Steve Christie made a 29-yard field goal. On the Raiders' next possession, wide receiver Tim Brown scored on an 86-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jeff Hostetler. But Buffalo then drove 71 yards to score on Brook's 22-yard game-clinching touchdown reception from Kelly.

Brown had the best postseason performance of his career, catching 5 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Kelly completed 27 of 37 passes for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brooks caught 6 passes for 92 yards and 2 touchdowns.

NFC: San Francisco 49ers 44, New York Giants 3

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 0 3 0 0


49ers 9 14 14 7


at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

49ers running back Ricky Watters rushed for 118 yards, caught 5 passes for 46 yards, and scored an NFL playoff record 5 touchdowns as San Francisco crushed the Giants, 44-3. San Francisco kicker Mike Cofer added a 29-yard field goal while running back Marc Logan recorded a 2-yard touchdown. Meanwhile the 49ers defense held the Giants to 41 rushing yards and intercepted quarterback Phil Simms twice. New York's lone score was a 25-yard field goal from kicker David Treadwell in the second quarter. The game was also notable in that it would end up being the final game in the storied career of New York linebacker Lawrence Taylor, and as it turned out, it would be the final game for Simms as well.

January 16, 1994

NFC: Dallas Cowboys 27, Green Bay Packers 17

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 3 0 7 7


Cowboys 0 17 7 3


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

The Cowboys broke the game open by scoring 10 points in the final 23 seconds of the first half. After the Packers stopped Dallas on a fake punt attempt, Chris Jacke's 30-yard field goal gave them a 3-0 lead. But on the next drive, Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman completed a 25-yard touchdown to wide receiver Alvin Harper. With 23 seconds left in the first half, Cowboys kicker Eddie Murray made a 41-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Dallas' Joe Fishback recovered Green Bay returner Corey Harris' fumble, and Aikman threw a 6-yard touchdown to tight end Jay Novacek to give the Cowboys a 17-3 lead before halftime. In the third quarter, Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin caught a 19-yard touchdown reception. Packers quarterback Brett Favre completed two touchdowns in the second half, a 13-yarder to wide receiver Robert Brooks and a 29-yarder to Sterling Sharpe, but it was not enough.

Favre finished the game with 331 passing yards, just 1 yard short of a Packers playoff record. His top target was Sharpe, who caught 6 passes for 128 yards. Aikman completed 28 of 37 passes for 302 yards, while Irvin recorded 9 receptions for 126 yards.

AFC: Kansas City Chiefs 28, Houston Oilers 20

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 0 7 21


Oilers 10 0 0 10


at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana threw three touchdown passes in the second half to give his team a 28-20 win. The Oilers jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter with kicker Al Del Greco's 49-yard field goal and running back Gary Brown's 2-yard touchdown. Then after a scoreless second period, Montana threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Keith Cash in the third quarter. In the fourth period, Del Greco kicked a 43-yard field goal to give Houston a 13-7 lead. But aided by a 38-yard pass interference penalty, the Chiefs advanced 71 yards to score on wide receiver J.J. Birden's 11-yard touchdown reception form Montana. On the Oilers' next possession, Kansas City defensive lineman Dan Saleaumua recovered a fumble by Houston quarterback Warren Moon, setting up Montana's 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Willie Davis. The Oilers then drove 80 yards to score on wide receiver Ernest Givins' 7-yard touchdown catch, but the Chiefs responded with running back Marcus Allen's game-clinching 21-yard touchdown that capped off a 79-yard drive. The City of Houston would not host another playoff game until 2011. As of 2012, this was the last time that the Chiefs won a playoff game.

Conference championships

January 23, 1994

AFC Championship: Buffalo Bills 30, Kansas City Chiefs 13

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 6 0 7 0


Bills 7 13 0 10


at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Running back Thurman Thomas led the Bills to the 30-13 victory by recording 186 rushing yards, 3 receptions for 22 yards, and three touchdowns. Buffalo scored first on Thomas' 12-yard touchdown run before Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery kicked two field goals. In the second quarter, Thomas scored on a 3-yard touchdown and Bills kicker Steve Christie made two field goals to extend the lead 20-6. With 21 seconds left in the first half, the Chiefs reached the Buffalo 5-yard line, but quarterback Joe Montana's pass was intercepted by Bills defensive back Henry Jones. Montana later suffered a concussion during the third play of the third quarter and left the game. Kansas City backup quarterback Dave Krieg then led his team on a 90-yard drive to score on running back Marcus Allen's 1-yard touchdown. However, Buffalo scored 10 unanswered points in the final period, an 18-yard field goal by Christie and a 3-yard touchdown by Thomas, to preserve the victory.

For the Bills, this was the third straight year they defeated a future Hall of Fame quarterback to advance to the Super Bowl. They beat John Elway and his Denver Broncos in the 1991 AFC Championship game and Dan Marino and his Miami Dolphins in 1992. For Montana, this was his seventh start in a conference championship game, the most of any quarterback, breaking his tie with Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach. He also joined the select group to start in the conference championship for two different franchises, joining Craig Morton (Cowboys and Broncos), Doug Williams (Buccaneers and Redskins) and Jay Schroeder (Redskins and Raiders). This was also Jim Kelly's fifth Conference Championship game which is tied for fifth most with Ken Stabler, John Elway, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre.

NFC Championship: Dallas Cowboys 38, San Francisco 49ers 21

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 0 7 7 7


Cowboys 7 21 7 3


at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

Before the game, Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson famously guaranteed that his team would win the game, and his team did not disappoint. The Cowboys jumped to a 28-7 halftime lead by scoring four touchdowns in their first five possessions. Dallas took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards to score on running back Emmitt Smith's 5-yard touchdown. Early in the second quarter, the 49ers tied the game on quarterback Steve Young's 7-yard touchdown pass to running back Tom Rathman. But then the Cowboys scored 3 unanswered touchdowns before halftime: Running back Daryl Johnston's 4-yard run, Smith's 11-yard reception from quarterback Troy Aikman, and Aikman's 19-yard score to tight end Jay Novacek. In the third quarter, Aikman was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and San Francisco running back Ricky Watters ran for a 4-yard touchdown to cut the lead, 28-14. However, Dallas backup quarterback Bernie Kosar connected with wide receiver Alvin Harper for a 42-yard touchdown. Cowboys kicker Eddie Murray later added a 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.

Mostly due to Johnson's famous guarantee, ESPN named the game one of the ten most memorable in the history of Texas Stadium in 2008. [1]

This would be CBS' final NFL telecast (due to them losing the NFC package to Fox in December 1993) before resuming coverage in 1998.

Super Bowl

Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys (NFC) 6 0 14 10


Bills (AFC) 3 10 0 0


at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: January 30, 1994
  • Game attendance: 72,817
  • Referee: Bob McElwee
  • TV announcers (NBC): Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy


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