As Tony Gonzalez prepares to play in his final game against the Carolina Panthers, the tight end’s illustrious career will soon be coming to an end. Despite the Atlanta Falcons failing to give one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game of football an opportunity to capture that elusive Super Bowl ring, Gonzo is a sure to be named to his 14th Pro Bowl when all is said and done.
At 37-years-old, the 17-year veteran has not only produced as if he were in his prime, but he has turned back the clock of “Father Time” and played extremely well in a very disappointing season that the Falcons have endured in 2013.
Not only does Gonzo lead the Falcons in receptions with 79 catches, but it is also the second best among tight ends in the NFL with only Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints leading the way with 81 catches. Gonzo is also second on the team in terms of receiving yards with 803 and is first on the team with eight touchdown receptions.
In a season that has been struck with injuries to several key players offensively, Gonzo was the only weapon that has been consistent for Matt Ryan and the Falcons as Julio Jones was lost for the year and Roddy White missed several games due to multiple injuries. With two of the top receivers in the NFL out, it was Gonzalez who stepped up his game and shouldered the receiving load for the duration of the season.
Gonzo was not only an exceptional player, but he was the first of his kind. He entered the league as a former basketball player, and he took off ever since. Since then, Gonzo has paved the way to other great tight ends such as Antonio Gates.
So despite the Falcons record at 4-11 and their ‘bust’ season, Gonzo is a definite Pro Bowler and will most likely be a Future Hall of Famer. For his career, Gonzo has accumulated over 15,000 receiving yards, 1,321 receptions and has hauled in 111 touchdown passes.
As one of the all-time greats prepares for his last game, Gonzo will be in one more game to give fans one last glimpse at one of the greatest players of all-time at his position.