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New Hall of Fame inductee John Lynch takes final bow before Bucs fans

The former, fierce-hitting safety was presented his “Ring of Excellence” at halftime.
Former Bucs safety John Lynch, formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer, received his Hall of Fame "Ring of Excellence" during a halftime ceremony Monday night.
Former Bucs safety John Lynch, formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer, received his Hall of Fame "Ring of Excellence" during a halftime ceremony Monday night. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Nov. 23
Updated Nov. 23

TAMPA — Having already received his bust and blazer, former Bucs safety John Lynch received his final piece of Pro Football Hall of Fame swag before his old fan base Monday night.

Hall of Fame president David Baker presented Lynch — a backbone of the storied Tampa Two defense from 1993-2003 — with his “Ring of Excellence” at halftime. Former teammates and fellow Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks joined Lynch along with Lynch’s wife and three daughters on the field. (His son, Jake, plays football at Stanford).

“These guys (Sapp and Brooks) are like brothers to me,” Lynch told the Raymond James Stadium crowd. “And to join them in a new class ... is something I could never imagine, and it is so cool.”

Lynch also gave another Hall endorsement to fellow Bucs Ring of Honor member Ronde Barber, reiterating to the former cornerback and three-time first-team All-Pro that “your time is coming buddy.”

“And most of all, tonight is about the fans here in Tampa,” Lynch added. “You guys supported me in the lean times when we were 4-12, when we were 5-11, and the proudest moment in my football life was bringing the Lombardi Trophy back here to Raymond James.”

Evans overtakes Alstott

Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with wide receiver Mike Evans (13) after his 5-yard touchdown pass to Evans in the third quarter Monday night. The TD was the 72nd of Evans' career, a Bucs record.
Bucs quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with wide receiver Mike Evans (13) after his 5-yard touchdown pass to Evans in the third quarter Monday night. The TD was the 72nd of Evans' career, a Bucs record. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

One person’s modest touchdown catch is another’s milestone.

Mike Evans’ 5-yard scoring reception from Tom Brady midway through the third quarter was the 72nd total touchdown of his career, giving him sole ownership of the franchise record he shared with Mike Alstott.

Seventy-one of Evans’ TDs have been receptions. He recovered a Jameis Winston fumble in the end zone against the Giants in 2018.

“I’m very proud of that accomplishment. Hopefully I can extend (the record) really far,” Evans said. “I’m very proud of A-Train, what an unbelievable player. I’m just happy to be in the same sentence as him, let alone breaking his record, so it’s a blessing.”

Injury report

The Bucs offensive line experienced its first whiff of physical adversity this season when left guard Ali Marpet exited in the first half with an oblique strain and didn’t return. Aaron Stinnie, who shined at right guard in place of Alex Cappa during last season’s playoffs, replaced Marpet.

By the numbers

1 Career interception for 35-year-old Bucs defensive tackle Steve McLendon, who picked off an ill-advised throw by Daniel Jones (who was under duress) in the third quarter.

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3 Interceptions this season for safety/nickel back Mike Edwards, who snagged a Jones pass tipped by Devin White in the fourth quarter.

19 Seasons in which Tom Brady has eclipsed 3,000 passing yards, an NFL record. Brady (3,177 yards in 2021) shared the mark with Brett Favre entering Monday’s game, when he passed for 307.

32 Total plays in which the Bucs defense was on the field for Washington’s final drive last weekend (19) and the Giants’ opening drive Monday (13).

145 Career starts for inside linebacker Lavonte David, tying Tony Mayberry for the fourth-most in franchise history.

307 Career regular-season receptions by Chris Godwin, passing Mike Alstott (305) and Warrick Dunn (306) for fourth-most in franchise history. Godwin had six catches Monday.

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