With the announcement of the 2018 NFL Hall of Fame inductees on Saturday night in Minneapolis, we knew there would be “givens’ like Randy Moss, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher getting in on their first try. And, then there would be controversy, as well on who got left out, again.
Former Buccaneer and Bronco great, John Lynch is in the latter category, for a fifth straight year he did not get the votes.
The argument for Lynch is a strong one, and this is amplified by the fact that he’s been a finalist being discussed year after year on the final day to get elected to Canton.
So, while Lynch did not make it in , again, this time one of his contemporaries, safety Brian Dawkins of the Eagles, did get in and it makes the debate a little more curious.
If you’re going on statistics alone the players they are comprable careers with Dawkins having a slight edge. He played three more years (16), than Lynch. But, their tackle stats are almost identical. That favors Lynch
However, Lynch had 9 Pro Bowl appearances to 8 for Dawkins. And Lynch finished his career stronger making eight of those Pro bowls in his last nine seasons in Tampa Bay and Denver. Dawkins made six of his final nine with Philly and Denver.
The bigger argument for Lynch was that he was a more fearsome hitter than Dawkins in the middle of a Buccaneer defense that dominated from 1999 to 2002 including a Super Bowl win
Dawkins was never on a dominant, number one defense, and did not win a Superbowl, while he was in Philadelphia or Denver.
It is very difficult to quantify safeties the same way as defensive backs or linebackers for Hall of Fame criteria. And these players were equal in a lot of ways. Lynch reacted with class on Saturday night:
Congrats to a great and deserving Class. Disappointed but humbled to be a finalist. Thanks to everyone for the support. https://t.co/B7gIpXwodz
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) February 3, 2018
Now, Lynch may very well get in next year or soon, because there’s obviously sentiment in the room every year for him. However, next January, former Ravens great safety Ed Reed is first time eligible and will present a strong argument.
And, for 2018, it had to be a bit discouraging Saturday, stats against him or not, for Lynch to see Dawkins beat him to Canton for 2018.
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