It was no surprise that Terrell Davis and John Lynch were not among the eight members of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.
Both are deserving. But both were up against a stacked group that included two contributors for the first time.
Just making it to Saturday's selection meeting was signficiant for Davis, who could have momentum on his side for a potential induction in the coming years.
This was his first time as a Hall of Fame finalist, and despite the brevity of his career, he has a combination of accomplishments that no one else can boast: a Super Bowl MVP trophy, a regular-season MVP award and a 2,000-yard rushing season, to go along with three other 1,000-yard seasons and seven consecutive 100-yard games in the postseason.
Before he tore knee ligaments four games into the 1999 season, Davis averaged 106.4 rushing yards per game over the first 73 games of his career, including postseason.
When evaluating up his pre-injury production, Davis' continued absence from the Hall of Fame becomes more baffling when considering his 73-game averages against others considered to be the best ever at running back in their first 73 games:
- Earl Campbell: 99.6 yards/game
- Jim Brown: 97.6 yards/game
- Emmitt Smith: 94.6 yards/game
- Walter Payton: 93.5 yards/game
- Barry Sanders: 92.7 yards/game
Davis and Campbell, epitomized a quote from the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner: "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly." Both had careers that didn't make it to a ninth season, shortened by injuries.
But Campbell made the Hall of Fame at his first opportunity, while the honor continues to elude Davis, several years into his eligibility.
Lynch racked up nine Pro Bowls and four All-Pro selections during a 15-season career in which he became one of the most feared safeties in the game.
He established his name with the Buccaneers' defense during its elite 1997-2002 run established his credentials and ensured the effectiveness of the "Tampa Two" defense by preventing opponents from capitalizing off deep openings. But he enhanced his credentials after coming to Denver, particularly with his play during his first two Broncos seasons.
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