Tony Gonzalez is one of the greatest tight ends ever to grace the gridiron and on August 3, he'll be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In honor of his accomplishment, HOF Experiences is breaking down the five greatest moments of Gonzalez's prolific career.
Gonzalez Breaks Tight End Touchdown Record
When: October 14, 2007
A simple three-yard catch immortalized Tony Gonzalez within the NFL's record books.
In a 2007 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals,, Gonzalez caught a three-yard touchdown pass to become the all-time leader in touchdown receptions by a tight end with 63.
Gonzalez finished his career with 111 total receiving touchdowns, ranked currently eighth all-time. His touchdown record stood for a decade before Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates corralled his 112th career receiving touchdown on September 17, 2017.
Gonzalez Breaks Tight End Receptions Record
When: December 30, 2007
Two months after getting the touchdown record, Gonzalez made more history.
In a Week 17 meeting with the New York Jets, Gonzalez caught the 816th pass of his already-storied career, smashing the record for receptions by a tight end in a career.
Gonzalez usurped Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe with the catch. At the end of his 17-year career, Gonzalez brought in 1,325 catches, which ranks second all-time behind Jerry Rice (1,549).
Traded to the Atlanta Falcons
When: April 23, 2009
After 12 prolific seasons with the Chiefs, Gonzalez was looking for a change of scenery. At 33 years old, Gonzalez wasn’t fulfilled with the lack of playoff experiences he had with the Chiefs and made the team aware that he’d like to play for a contender.
Then on April 23, 2009, Gonzalez was granted his wish. The tight end was traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Gonzalez joined the Falcons as the only tight end in NFL history to be selected to 10 Pro Bowls and was likely already on his way to Canton.
What came after the trade was another chapter of Gonzalez’s historic career, as the tight end added another four Pro Bowl selections to his resume and one more First-Team All-Pro honor (2012-13).
Wins First Postseason Game
When: January 13, 2013
Gonzalez’s career in Atlanta was defined by a desire for playoff success. While the tight end never achieved the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl ring, he did hit a major career milestone in his second season in Atlanta.
When the Falcons met the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, Gonzalez entered the game with a personal 0-5 record in the postseason spanning his 15 years in the league.
He was on the precipice of his first playoff victory when the Falcons lead 27-7 in the fourth quarter, but this monkey wasn’t going to get off his back easily. Seattle charged back, taking the 28-27 lead after Marshawn Lynch bullied himself into the endzone with 31 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing drive, the Falcons found themselves at the 50-yard line with 19 seconds left. Then, on the next play, Matt Ryan hit Gonzalez with a 19-yard strike to put Atlanta into field goal range. Kicker Matt Bryant sank the kick to put the Falcons up and earn Gonzalez the evasive playoff victory.
Passes 15,000 Career Receiving Yards
When: December 15, 2013
Gonzalez's final season wasn't complete without one last bit of history.
In a Week 15 game against the Washington Redskins, Gonzalez became the fifth player in NFL history to surpass 15,000 career receiving yards.
Gonzalez passed 15,000 yards on a 12-yard catch, but the play topped off a
See Tony Gonzalez Enter the Hall of Fame
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