At age 37, Tony Gonzalez has already solidified himself in the NFL Hall-of-Fame. But he wont call it quits before making another run at a Super Bowl ring. The question is, can he?
According to ESPN.com, Gonzalez’s 12-year-old son convinced him to try at least one more attempt at a Super Bowl run, telling his Pro Bowl father that he has a good team with good players.
I have to agree with this kid.
The Atlanta Falcons have never won a Super Bowl, let alone played in the big game. But this past season, they made an exceptional run at the title. They came as close as the NFC Championship game. Sadly, they had to face the San Francisco 49ers – arguably the best team in the NFL.
However, getting so close can leave a team hungry. And with a leader like Gonzalez to motivate players, it is very possible to make another run this upcoming season.
With a 99.1 Passer Rating this past season, Matt Ryan showed the world he is more than capable of taking a team all the way. Too old to be considered a young QB, and too young to be considered washed up, “Matty Ice” probably wouldn’t be considered a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. But adding a Super Bowl ring to his resume would sure help.
A two-time Pro Bowler, no one questions whether or not the guy can play. Resurrecting from the ashes of Michal Vick’s dog-abuse scandal, Ryan had more pressure on his shoulders than most. A QB that the whole state loved to claim theirs was gone in the blink of an eye. And despite all the press and worry and tension and fear that the fans and Falcons organization must have had, it all seemed to work for the better.
Ryan has also showed that he is able to command an arsenal of talent., not just the veteran TE. Gonzalez did lead the team this past season in receptions (93). But other star receivers, such as Julio Jones who lead the team in receiving TDs (10), and Roddy White who lead them in receiving yards (1351), helped the Falcons offense become feared within the league.
Their run game is nothing to forget, either. Michael Turner is the type of RB teams need to strategize against. Playing in San Diego behind megastar Ladainian Tomlinson, he never got the recognition he truly deserved. A short, stocky bull-of-a RB, he can punish a D-line the whole game going up the middle, and then sweep it to the outside and outrun them all. This past season, he rushed for 800 yards and got 10 TDs. It was only his second season in five seasons with the Falcons that he did not rush for over 1000 yards.
Gonzalez is coming up on his 17th year in the NFL. And like fine wine, he is only getting better with age. He has only missed one game in his whole career; his ability to play one of the toughest sports should not be in question. He holds two NFL records for TEs (receptions + touchdowns). And he is without-a-doubt one of the most reliable players to ever play the game.
Can Tony Gonzalez win a Super Bowl ring? Well, if football were only played with one player, then sure. But this is a team sport. It is up to the whole Atlanta Falcon organization to help get a player something he greatly deserves.