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“The Greatest Show on Turf” wouldn’t exist without Isaac Bruce.
The longtime Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams receiver let his play do most of the talking during his career, producing mind-numbing stats that speak for themselves when discussing his legacy in the game.
As Bruce prepares for his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020, we decided to look back at the top moments of his career that helped cement his place in Canton.
Game: Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams
When: January 16, 2000
Five years after officially relocating from Los Angeles to St. Louis, the Rams finally hosted a playoff game in front of their home crowd.
St. Louis welcomed the Minnesota Vikings into town for the city’s first ever NFL postseason game in the NFC Divisional Round.
While the game was a series of firsts, none were as important as Bruce taking a pass from Kurt Warner 77 yards to the house on the Rams first offensive play from scrimmage. What a way to start a new era in St. Louis.
The Rams would go on to win 49-37 and continue their playoff run… which we’ll return to later down this list.
Game: San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
When: December 21, 2008
While he’ll enter the Hall of Fame as a Rams legend, Isaac Bruce’s short tenure with the San Francisco 49ers saw him create history.
In front of a familiar crowd in St. Louis and against his old team, Bruce, then a member of the 49ers, caught his 1,000th career pass — a 3-yard touchdown from Shaun Hill.
The opposing crowd erupted in celebration of their franchise legend as shouts of “BRUCE” echoed throughout the stadium.
Bruce finished his career with 1,024 receptions, good for 13th on the all-time list.
When: 2009 Season
The 15,000-yard receiving club is becoming the new identifier for the best of the best when it comes to prolific wide receivers.
But back before 2009, only one receiver had surpassed the mark — Jerry Rice.
That is until the 2009 season, where Bruce, in his final NFL campaign, surpassed the 15,000-yard receiving mark to become the second receiver ever to accomplish the feat.
Since then, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and Larry Fitzgerald have joined the club, but Bruce will be the first to tell you that he was the second to do it, right behind who many consider the greatest pass catcher of all time.
When: 1995 Season
Statistics help build out a Hall of Fame resume and Bruce’s sophomore season in the NFL is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen.
In 16 games, Bruce caught 119 passes for 1,781 yards and 13 touchdowns. For those keeping track, that’s an average of 111.3 receiving yards per game for a whole season.
The 1,781 receiving yards were second in the league that year behind Jerry Rice, but were good enough to rank fifth on the all-time single season list. Bruce’s 119 receptions also ranks 14th all-time for a season.
After this season, Isaac Bruce was officially a household name.
Game: St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans
When: January 30, 2000
Every kid dreams of catching the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl; Isaac Bruce did it.
With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the score tied 16-16, Kurt Warner found Bruce in one-on-one covered down the sideline. Bruce cut slightly in to catch the ball just past the 50-yard line and deke past the next defender and sprint all the way to the endzone.
The 73-yard touchdown gave the Rams a late lead that they wouldn’t relinquish (even by a single yard) and won the franchise its first and only Super Bowl.
Hall of Fame Experiences recently talked with Isaac Bruce about his upcoming enshrinement and about other stories from his legendary career. Hear from the man himself before he enters the Hall of Fame in August.
Join the Rams faithful in Canton this August to honor the enshrinement of Isaac Bruce into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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