Atlanta Falcons' Tony Gonzalez the Greatest Tight End Ever

By Ken Grace
John David Mercer–US Presswire

Tony Gonzalez, tight end for the Atlanta Falcons, will most certainly end up in the NFL Hall of Fame. Along with that, Gonzalez will probably also go down as the best tight end ever to play the game. He revolutionized the position with his athleticism and skill along with changing the way tight ends are used today.

At 36 years old, Gonzalez is on track to have one of his best seasons ever. Through nine games he has 61 catches, 617 yards and 6 touchdowns. At that pace, the former Kansas City Chief is on track to have over 100 catches, 1000 yards and 10 TDs, one of the few things he has not done. The closest he has ever come was in 2008 with the Kansas City Chiefs when Gonzalez racked up 96 catches, 1,058 yards and 10 trips to the end zone.

Gonzalez has been in the league since 1997 and has consistently ranked among the best tight ends statistically year in and year out. In his 16 year career, Gonzalez has only missed two games; that’s it. Another interesting stat is that during his long career, Gonzalez has only fumbled six times. In fact the last time Gonzalez actually had a fumble was in 2006.

In Atlanta’s loss to the New Orleans Saints, Gonzalez became the first tight end to record a 100 touchdowns; he actually has 101. Gonzalez is second all-time in most pass receptions with 1,210 and second in most seasons with 50 or more receptions. The guy ahead of him in both of those categories is Jerry Rice, who only happens to be the greatest wide receiver ever.  So not only can Tony Gonzalez be considered the greatest tight end ever, he can also be considered one of the best receivers to ever play the game.

While Tony Gonzalez holds records for most receptions by a tight end in a season (102 in 2004) and is the career leader in yards, receptions, and touchdowns at his position, the one thing he does not have is a playoff victory. For this reason alone Tony Gonzalez keeps coming back year after year. Hopefully, this will be the year that not only does one of the greatest to ever play win a playoff game but also wins a Super Bowl as well.

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