Gonzalez now No. 2 on receiving list; Rice’s place safe


Tony Gonzalez after the win over the Lions. (Associated Press)

Tony Gonzalez after the win over the Lions. (Associated Press)



Player –Years — Rec.
Jerry Rice –1985-04 –1,549
Tony Gonzalez — 1997 — 1,104

Marvin Harrison — 1996-08 — 1,102
Cris Carter — 1987-02 — 1,101

By Jeff Schultz

Detroit — It didn’t seem to bother Tony Gonzalez on Sunday that he has risen as high up the NFL career receiving ladder as he’ll go.

“I don’t think Jerry [Rice] will be caught,” the Falcons’ tight end said, laughing. “I’m happy with second place.”

The dizzying career numbers continue for the 35-year-old who at times still looks 25. Gonzalez had five more receptions for 62 yards in the Falcons’ 23-16 win over Detroit. He is now at 1,104 catches, vaulting him past Marvin Harrison (1,102) and Cris Carter (1,101) into second on the NFL’s all-time receptions list, just behind Rice (1,549).

So hypothetically, if Gonzalez retires after this season, he would need 445 catches in the next nine games to catch Rice. Yeah. Not going to happen.

Gonzalez knew this achievement was coming, so there was no surprise. But he was just happy it came in a victory.

“It’s not just me,” he said. “Any time you get something like that, I share it with everybody I’ve ever been able to play with, all of the coordinators I’ve been with, all of the quarterbacks. Guys like Trent Green, Rich Gannon, Elvis Grbac and, obviously, finishing with a guy like Matt Ryan. It’s a lot of guys.”

The 62 yards in receptions also increased Gonzalez’s career total to12,843 yards, moving him past wide receiver Irving Fryar (12,785) for 13th place on the NFL’s all-time reception yardage list.

Gonzalez didn’t score a touchdown, but his receptions were key in the win. His 11-yarder on third-and-9 in the first quarter extended a drive and led to a field goal. His 30-yarder in the second moved the Falcons to the Lions’ 39 and helped set the stage for Ryan’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White that increased the Falcons’ lead to 17-6. Two other catches gave the Falcons first downs.

“He’s just very consistent at what he does,” White said of Gonzalez. “He doesn’t just catch the ball. He doesn’t lack in any area of the game. Just watch this guy go to work like he does. He helps the young tight ends, he helps the wide receivers, everybody. As long as he’s on our team, we’ll be successful.”

White also had five catches against the Lions. That gives him 469 for his career — a ways behind Gonzalez.

“I ask him what it feels like to have over a thousand catches,” he said. “I’m not anywhere close to that. I’m not sure that I’ll get there.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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27 comments Add your comment


October 23rd, 2011
10:05 pm

Chandler Going Deep,,

October 23rd, 2011
10:30 pm

zero playoff wins in 15 years..Amazing?

JayCool 4DABirds

October 23rd, 2011
10:58 pm

Congratulations Tony G.

Michael M.

October 23rd, 2011
11:05 pm

Shut-up Chandler………………….Congrats Tony , You deserve it cause you are dah Man !
A Class Act on a First Class Organization !


October 23rd, 2011
11:14 pm

chandler , you beat me to it


October 23rd, 2011
11:16 pm

2 mikey-1st class org. ?- how do you figure? by all of your recent playoff victories? oh thats right- NONE under melt ,smitty and gonzo!

JayCool 4DABirds

October 24th, 2011
12:04 am

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Gonzalez is still first ballot Hall of Famer. Ryan will not need a million years to win a Super Bowl. And him and Smitty are two of the most winning QB and Head Coach tandems the league has ever seen.


October 24th, 2011
12:49 am


Michael M.

October 24th, 2011
6:29 am

HiramSaint ……………Why dont you take a walk out in the Ocean and drownnnnnnnn ..Buster !

Michael M.

October 24th, 2011
6:31 am

and shad the hell up too !


October 24th, 2011
7:10 am

What do you get for being #2?


October 24th, 2011
7:14 am

Freddie G.

October 24th, 2011
7:42 am

He has been the best tight end of all time. Falcons were lucky too get Tony. He is a great guy and a team player. Congrat Tony.
We have some on here, Jesus Christ could not satisfy! They are not Falcons fans anyway.They are other teams fans on Falcon Blog. Get off

Big Play Ray/

October 24th, 2011
7:44 am

Enter your comments here

Big Play Ray

October 24th, 2011
7:57 am

Chandler going deep, I think you are still suffering from concussion you got in bears game in 97. We went to super bowl in 98, championship game in 01, beat Packers on there field and do not think anyone has beaten Packers in play off game on their fild until that game. I do not think that has been fifteen years. You are not a falcon fan. You move to Altanta from where? Mr Blanks has don’t a good job trying to get falcons a super bowl ring. I think he has the right people in place to do that. He is not Jerry Jones questioning coaches, for a play they call. Thank you Mr Blanks for letting coaches coach and not being Jerry.

Detroiter Tout-Jour;

October 24th, 2011
8:03 am

Congratulations Gonzo!!! you’ll always have haters no matter what, you’ve truly been blessed.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 24th, 2011
10:27 am

CONGRATULATIONS to Tony G for this achievement.

I’m amazed at all of the haters who continually show up with the same old negative comments. To the haters…..WHAT HALL OF FAME ARE YOU GOING TO BE A PART OF AT THE END OF YOUR CAREER?????…. Any type of recognition other than first acknowledged to make a negative comment continuously on a Falcons’ blog???? Just what I thought……. absolutely NONE!!!!

I still can’t get over how some of these so called “knowledgeable folks” based everything on play-off wins. Ever thought that if that if a play-off win was the only important metric the NFL would not be capturing all of the other statistics. Football is a team sport and one player can’t cannot win a play-off game alone. Your way of measuring success for Tony G. is highly flawed. Play-off win or not…how many play-off wins do you have????? Tony G has been a great addition to the Falcons……haters PLEASE GO GET A LIFE!!!!!


October 24th, 2011
11:46 am

Way to go #88! We are proud you wear the Red and Black!!!!!!

JayCool 4DABirds

October 24th, 2011
4:20 pm

See all your negativity is not so cute after all, you negative bombs. Go Falcons!!!!!


October 24th, 2011
5:20 pm

Just think where Falcons would be without TG. How many key third down passes has he caught to keep drives alive? Everybody knows they are going to him on third down and he still finds a way to get open. Pray he doesnt get hurt or runs out of gas as the season goes.


October 24th, 2011
5:47 pm

and zero playoff wins-in other words…a joke


October 24th, 2011
5:54 pm

My Lord Hiram, you really think Tony G is a joke? Or are you just a punk?

JayCool 4DABirds

October 24th, 2011
8:57 pm

He’s just a punk!!!!!


October 24th, 2011
9:01 pm

Hiram and Seen are typing with the paper sacks on their heads.

Ram Hiram

October 24th, 2011
9:10 pm

Hiram and Seen are getting old. They need to find a life.


October 24th, 2011
9:19 pm

fishin’s good in these here spots -hahahahahahahahahaha


October 29th, 2011
12:15 am

Tony is all that and a bag of frito-lay