Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Frustrated Gonzalez still believes in Falcons
By Vaughn McClure
ATLANTA -- It should have been a night of celebration for Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez. Instead, it turned into a night of frustration.
Gonzalez reached a milestone by catching a pass in his 200th consecutive game, joining Jerry Rice as the only two players to catch passes in 200 straight games. After the game, all Gonzalez could talk about was how his team would rebound from a 1-4 start after dropping a third straight, losing Monday to the New York Jets 30-28.
"I'm not going to sit here, what are we going to do? Sit here and feel sorry for ourselves? I'm not going to throw my hands up and say the season's over," Gonzalez said. "We still have a lot of football left to play, and I'm going to believe.
"And I expect my teammates to believe that we can turn this thing around after this bye week, and get a couple of guys back and get healthy. It's still in our hands. Yeah, it puts us behind the eight ball, but at the same time, if we go out there and just take it one game at a time, I'm confident that we can turn it around. I really am."
Gonzalez continues to do his part. He had 97 receiving yards on a team-high 10 catches, while being targeted a team-high 14 times. He was instrumental in drawing several penalties on the Jets for pass interference and defensive holding.
Had it not been for Julio Jones' jaw-dropping one-handed catch late in the game, Gonzalez's first catch -- the one putting him at 200 consecutive games -- would have been the most memorable grab of the night.
Gonzalez had hoped this would be a memorable season, although it hasn't turned out in such a manner thus far. He continues to chase an elusive Super Bowl ring, but the veteran emphasized last week that this would be his final season, no matter how the Falcons finish.
He expects them to finish strong.
"Whether it's realistic or not, that's up to you guys to say what you've got to say," Gonzalez vented. "But as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to go out there and play my heart out. And I expect that from my teammates, and hopefully we can turn this around."