5 Moments that Defined John Lynch’s Hall of Fame Career
Before he takes the Enshrinement stage this August, we’ve selected the five moments that define John Lynch’s epic journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
5. Dominant Performance Against Tom Brady
WHEN: October 16, 2005
FINAL SCORE: Denver Broncos 28, New England Patriots 20
A Hall of Fame-worthy performance against a future Hall of Famer.
In this preview of the eventual playoff matchup of the two sides later in the year, Lynch got the best of Tom Brady by creating four pass breakups, the most of his Broncos career.
The Patriots were coming off their second consecutive Super Bowl win, making this Lynch performance even more valuable.
4. First All-Pro Season
WHEN: 1999 Season
Personal accolades help build a Hall of Fame career, and Lynch earned his first major accolade in 1999 when he was voted first-team All-Pro.
Lynch helped propel the Bucs to an 11-5 record, clinching the NFC Central and earning a first-round bye. He finished the season with 117 combined tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
3. First Game Back in Tampa Bay
WHEN: October 3, 2004
FINAL SCORE: Denver Broncos 16, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13
Emotions were high when Lynch made his return to Tampa Bay the season after he was released by the franchise that had drafted him.
Lynch returned to wild cheers throughout the stadium and put on a performance that made his old fans quickly fall silent. He recorded seven tackles, two for losses, and helped lead the Broncos to the early season win.
2. Invention of the Tampa 2
WHEN: 1996 Season
The heralded “Tampa 2” defensive scheme originated in 1996 when Tony Dungy took over as head coach of the Buccaneers.
Dungy, along with defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, installed a variation cover two defense that ended up defining Lynch’s playing career and success.
Lynch began Dungy’s first season injured and wasn’t a starter when the regular season kicked off, but he quickly earned back his place when safety Todd Scott tore his Achilles tendon early in the season. Lynch took over for Scott and immediately impressed, becoming an unmovable staple of the Tampa 2 defensive scheme.
He finished the season with 103 combined tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and one sack in 14 starts.
1. A Super Bowl Ring
WHEN: January 26, 2003
FINAL SCORE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21
Lynch’s personal accolades made him a Hall of Famer, but his work as a defensive leader and team builder made him a Super Bowl champion.
In his 10th season in Tampa, Lynch’s hard work paid off as the Buccaneers made their run toward the Lombardi Trophy, this time finishing the job after coming close in previous seasons.
Lynch was an important part of the team, starting at safety as Tampa Bay won the NFC South and defeated the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders to close the 2002 season as NFL champions.
Attend John Lynch’s Enshrinement This Summer
Official Ticket Packages for 2021 Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls are on sale now and include Enshrinement Ceremony access, exclusive parties, interactive experiences and much more.
Class of 2021 Enshrinement - Single-Event Tickets
Limited single-event tickets remain for the Class of 2021 Enshrinement (8/8/21). Pricing starts at $29.
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