There will be no celebration for the NFL's all-time leading receiver at tight end if Tony Gonzalez's last game is on Sunday. There will only be crushing disappointment if Gonzalez suffers another first playoff game loss -- this time at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks.
"For me, obviously, this could be it," Gonzalez said, via the Associated Press. "There is no tomorrow. There is no saying, 'We'll get 'em next year.' It's about going out there and trying to finish on the right note."
Gonzo has said all season there's a "95 percent" chance that he's retiring after the season. He hasn't backed off that claim all season despite catching 93 passes for 930 yards, his highest numbers in four seasons with the Falcons.
"I'm always holding on to that five percent. It's something that you've got to hold onto. Tony has had an outstanding year," coach Mike Smith said. "I don't think it's any different than his Pro Bowl years that he's had early in his career. He has a great understanding of how to play the tight end position. In my mind, he's the best that's ever played."
Gonzalez says he won't announce any formal retirement until midway through the offseason. So he's definitely leaving the door slightly cracked on changing his mind later. He's not going out with any pregame game.
"You don't want to see me dance," Gonzalez joked. "That's not a pretty thing. Trust me."
Gonzalez, like his quarterback, has never won a playoff game. Imaging him losing almost makes me cringe. It's enough to feel bad that I picked the Seahawks. If the Falcons do win, just about everyone in the NFL will be happy for one of the all-time greats.
"I'm not going to lie to you. I really, really, really want to win this game," Gonzalez said, via the Associated Press. "Legacy is what comes in. What you do in the playoffs is what (people) remember. It's a little bit of pressure; it's a little bit of anxiety, but that's good. We need that. I need that."
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