Gonzalez finished the game with 1,104 career catches -- two more than Harrison and three more than Carter.
"Those numbers mean I'm getting old, mostly," said Gonzalez, who's 35. "They feel great, but I can't take the credit. That goes to all the guys I've played with and all the great quarterbacks and all the coaches."
Gonzalez broke a tie with Harrison with a 2-yard catch on a Matt Ryan pass late in the first half. Jerry Rice is No. 1 at 1,549 career receptions.
"Trust me, Jerry Rice will never be caught," Gonzalez said. "I'm very happy with second place."
Gonzalez played an important role in helping the Falcons take a 17-6 halftime lead Sunday. He drew back-to-back pass-interference calls in the end zone in the first quarter, leading to Atlanta's first touchdown.
Gonzalez has 10 Pro Bowl bids and owns most of the meaningful league records for a tight end. He was the first to reach 1,000 catches and 12,000 receiving yards.
Gonzalez played 12 seasons in Kansas City and is in his third in Atlanta. Gonzalez also moved past Irving Fryar for 13th place on the career list in receiving yards Sunday.
Gonzalez has 35 receptions this season, putting him on pace for the 12th 70-catch season of his career and ninth in a row.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press