NFL World Reacts to Hines Ward Hall of Fame News

Published 11/23/2022, 6:30 PM EST

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The NFL Hall of Fame race is gaining momentum, as the league announced its 28 modern-era semifinalists for the 2023 class. A list that featured 129 nominees has shrunk considerably as the days in the regular season wind down. And among the 28 making the list is former Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward, who has sparked a debate on social media with his presence on the list.

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NFL writer Mark Kaboly took to Twitter to bring to light the glaring similarity in the careers of Ward, and former Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed. The NFL inducted Reed into the Hall of Fame in 2014. And according to Kaboly, if Reed has made it into the Hall of Fame, then Ward deserves to be inducted as well. And as claimed, their stats do match quite a bit. Maybe it just goes on to show, stats aren’t alone enough.

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While the stats are more in Reed’s favor, Ward does have 2 Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP award under his belt. That should alone be enough to overturn the deficit he has against Reed in stats. But then again, stats alone never really matter, as fans are quick to point out. According to some, Reed had much better QB targeting than Ward. But Reed was one of the best receivers of his time as well, while Hines was more of a local hero.

The NFL will release the 15 finalists for the Hall of Fame in January 2023, from which a further 4-8 will have their busts placed permanently in those hallowed halls in Canton, Ohio.

Steelers reflect on Cincinnati loss as legend Hines Ward makes HoF semi-finals

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The Pittsburgh Steelers might just be wishing they had someone of Ward’s caliber in their offense right now. Monday’s loss against the Cincinnati Bengals saw the Steelers drop to 3-7, and dead last in the AFC North. At this point in the season, hopes of securing a playoff berth seem very bleak. Steelers QB Kenny Pickett could only manage a single touchdown throw and could complete only 25/42 passes for 265 yards. Running back Najee Harris added 2 touchdowns of his own to the score sheet.

In stark contrast, Bengals QB Joe Burrow threw 4 touchdowns and managed 24/39 passes for 355 yards. During the game, the Steelers only outscored the Bengals in the 2nd quarter, while the Bengals consistently kept up their scoring (10 in 3 quarters, 7 in 1). The win sees the Bengals at 6-2 and comfortably sitting on 2nd in the AFC North, and within striking distance of the division leaders, the Baltimore Ravens. Coincidentally, they also face the Ravens in their last fixture of the regular season.

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Can the Steelers pull back and salvage something from their remaining games? And will the Bengals seal their playoff berth before they have to stare down the barrel i.e. the Ravens’ offense?

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Written by:

Arjun Sukumaran

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Arjun Sukumaran is a NFL content writer at EssentiallySports. A Mechanical Engineering graduate, his debating stints and voyages into research from his college days have become part and parcel of his life. He loves cheeseburgers, and so naturally, he loves the Kansas City Chiefs, and you can definitely count him in the group of people claiming Patrick Mahomes to be the next big thing.
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Edited by:

Hitesh Nigam

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