Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law (1995-2004) will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame during a public ceremony in the NRG Plaza on Friday, August 1 at 4:30pm. Check out the best photos from his career.
Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law will step onto the stage outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon this afternoon where team owner Robert Kraft will place the coveted red jacket onto his shoulders. With that, Law will officially be among the greatest of Patriots greats – the 20th player inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. His selection was a "no-doubter."
While Law is being honored by the Patriots and their faithful fans, Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams will be celebrating Hall of Fame weekend 647 miles away at the The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
One year from now, Law should be doing the same. He should undoubtedly be adding a gold jacket to his custom-made red one. While he takes home a crystal trophy and wristwatch today, next year when he is eligible for Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, he should be posing with a bronze bust and receiving a Hall of Fame ring.
When Aeneas Williams is enshrined this weekend, there will be 16 cornerbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those 16 corners averaged 54.5 career interceptions for 846.5 career yards and 4.9 career interceptions for touchdowns. Here is the alphabetical list:
Law twice led the league in interceptions with nine in 1998 and 10 in 2005. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time, first-team All-Pro. He was, without a doubt, one of the most fearless, physical, shutdown cornerbacks of his generation.
Of the 16 cornerbacks currently in Canton, only two won as many or more championships as Law, who won three with the Patriots in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Mel Blount won four Super Bowls in the 1970s as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers dominant defense. Herb Adderly won three Super Bowls with the Packers and Cowboys and won three other NFL titles with the Packers in the pre-Super Bowl days.
So let's take a closer look at Law.
He played in 141 games with the Patriots, 32 with the Chiefs, 23 with the Jets and seven with the Broncos for a total of 203 regular season games.
His 53 interceptions in those 203 games put him amongst the game's elite and in the mix with Pro Football Hall of Fame corners. Seven of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns – again a number that stacks up well with the game's all-time best. A closer look at those seven makes them even more impressive. Three of them came against surefire, first-ballot Hall of Famers – Peyton Manning, and yes, our own Tom Brady.
Here is a brief look at his seven interceptions returned for touchdowns:
|YEAR||OPPONENT||QUARTERBACK||YARDS||QTR.||SCORE AFTER INT.||NOTE|
|1996||Jets||Glenn Foley||38||3||27-10||Part of 4-1 Dec. stretch that helped earn a playoff bye|
|1998||Colts||Peyton Manning||59||1||10-0||Week 2, win made Pats 1-1|
|2001||Colts||Peyton Manning||23||4||37-7||Brady's first career start|
|2001||Panthers||Chris Weinke||46||1||10-0||Helped clinch playoff bye|
|2003||Titans||Steve McNair||65||4||38-27||Clinched game in start of NFL-record 21-game winning streak|
|2005||Patriots||Tom Brady||74||1||7-7||Career-long return for td|
Law's numbers are Hall-of-Fame worthy on their own, but he also seemed to play his best when the stakes were highest.
In addition to his 53 regular season interceptions, he has six in the postseason for 59 overall. Of that total, 25 came from December on when seasons are on the line. Five of his six postseason interceptions came off Manning's golden right arm. Law had one of the greatest postseason games in franchise, and perhaps NFL, history when he intercepted Manning three times in the 2003 AFC Championship Game – a 24-14 Patriots win. He added two more vs. Manning in a 2006 Kansas City Chiefs, 23-8, playoff loss to the Colts.
But his biggest postseason interception came on the biggest stage of all and helped the Patriots to their first Super Bowl Championship. With 8:58 left in the second quarter and the Patriots trailing the St. Louis Rams, 3-0, in Super Bowl XXXVI, Mike Vrabel came off the edge and disrupted Rams quarterback Kurt Warner. Warned floated a pass out to star receiver Isaac Bruce, but Law stepped up and intercepted it before returning it 47 yards for a touchdown and a 7-3 Patriots lead on the way to a narrow 20-17 Patriots win.
That was the first of three championships Law and the Patriots won in a four-year span.
So Law's resume stacks up for sure. Not only does he have Hall-of-Fame numbers, but he was a shutd valign="top"own corner who thrived on facing the opponent's best receiver and was willing to line up all over the field – a rare trait when many corners stick to one side of the field because of the differences in footwork. Some top cornerbacks, like Asante Samuel and Richard Sherman to name two, play exclusively on the left side. Not Law. He covered Marvin Harrison, Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson and every team's No. 1 wideout whether on the right, left or in the slot. He was a corner that quarterbacks feared and he was a playmaker.
And a year from now, he should be standing next to a bronze bust and wearing a gold jacket.