TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced Saturday during the NFL Honors TV show (All times EST):
Peyton Manning is heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an all-but-preordained honor for a quarterback who helped redefine offense in the 21st century.
The Colts and Broncos QB held or shared 12 NFL passing records when he retired in 2015 after winning his second Super Bowl title. One of those records — his 55 touchdown passes in 2013 — still stands as the league’s single-season record.
His five MVP awards have also not been matched, and his 71,940 yards and 539 touchdown passes have only been surpassed by Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
Manning spent his first 14 years in Indianapolis, where he won his first Super Bowl. Then, after a series of delicate neck surgeries, he made a comeback in Denver.
If Tom Brady lifts Tampa Bay to a win in the Super Bowl on Sunday, he would join Manning as the only other quarterback to lead two franchises to a championship.
Manning’s was the final name announced for the hall on the NFL Honors awards show Saturday night.
The other inductees: defensive back Charles Woodson, receivers Calvin Johnson and Drew Pearson, offensive lineman Alan Faneca, safety John Lynch, coach Tom Flores and longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn.
Hard-hitting safety John Lynch has been voted into the Hall of Fame on his eighth try, getting the nod in the same season his old team, the Buccaneers, are a win away from another Super Bowl title.
Lynch was a catalyst behind Tampa’s other Super Bowl title, in 2002. He had six solo tackles in the NFC title game that year. But more than the stats, it was Lynch’s menacing presence in defensive backfields that gave his teams an edge during an era before constraints were placed on vicious tackling.
After 11 seasons with the Bucs, Lynch finished with four years at Denver, where he helped the Broncos come a game from the Super Bowl in 2005.
He was an AP All-Pro twice and made it to nine Pro Bowls. Over his last 11 seasons, he played on only two losing teams. He is now general manager of the 49ers.
Also making it are defensive back Charles Woodson, receiver Calvin Johnson and offensive lineman Alan Faneca, along with senior selection Drew Pearson and longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn, who goes in in the contributor category.
Alan Faneca, the sturdy guard who spent years opening holes open for Jerome Bettis and protecting Ben Roethlisberger, is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 10 seasons with Pittsburgh, two with the Jets and one more in Arizona, Faneca missed a grand total of one game.
He was selected to six All-Pro teams and nine Pro Bowls.
His best days came with the Steelers, who had a top-10 rushing attack in all but one of his seasons there, and won the Super Bowl in 2006.
Faneca was the third modern-day player to be announced for the class of 2021 on the NFL Honors awards program. He joins Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson, along with Drew Pearson, the Cowboys great who made it in as a senior candidate.
The rest of the announcements come later tonight, with Peyton Manning expected to make it on his first ballot.
Calvin Johnson, the receiver better known as “Megatron,” has been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
In nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, Johnson made six Pro Bowls. He caught 731 passes and scored 84 touchdowns. He was an All-Pro three times and his 1,964 yards receiving in 2012, for an average of 123 yards a game, still stands as the NFL single-season record.
Much like another Lions Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders, Johnson retired unexpectedly in the prime of his career — at age 30 — leaving fans wondering if he had left too soon.
The Hall of Fame committee didn’t think so, and ultimately, Johnson’s status as a pre-eminent playmaker — he had five games with 200-plus yards receiving — got him into the hall on the first try.
He’ll join Charles Woodson in the hall, along with a handful of other players who will be announced later in Saturday night’s NFL Honors awards show.
Charles Woodson, the Heisman Trophy winner who spent 18 seasons prowling defensive backfields for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers, is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He was the first player announced on the NFL Honors awards show, which will reveal all the inductees during its two-hour program Saturday night.
The rest of the class of 2021 is to be announced later, with Peyton Manning expected to be a shoo-in on this, his first year of eligibility.
Woodson finished his career with 65 interceptions and led the league in that category twice. His 13 defensive touchdowns are tied for the career record.
He played his first eight and last three years in Oakland, sandwiched around seven years in Green Bay, where he won his only Super Bowl title.
He and Marcus Allen are the only players to win a Heisman, the AP Rookie of the Year, AP Player of the Year and a Super Bowl.
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