Falcons legend among those who deserved a Super Bowl

DCT190803016 NFL HOF Enshrinement

The Falcons have had several Hall of Famers and other legends go their entire career with the franchise without sniffing a Super Bowl. Some got relatively close, and some tasted glory before having it ripped out of their hands.

The organization is still vying for its first Lombardi Trophy, and it doesn’t seem plausible to expect that to change in 2024. Raheem Morris seems like a good head coach;  the vibes around Flowery Branch are immaculate and most are excited about Morris.

However, until the Falcons figure out the quarterback position, it won’t matter. It’s a quarterback-driven league, and it’s nearly impossible to win it all without at least an above-average signal caller.

It’s what makes reminiscing on the Matt Ryan era so frustrating. He was squarely a top 10 quarterback for much of his career in Atlanta, and the Falcons never accomplished their ultimate goal, despite being up 28-3 in the Super Bowl.

It’s hard to argue that there’s a player more deserving of a ring, but Julio Jones has an argument. Though some would say Ryan is the greatest Falcons player of all time because of his positional value, Julio Jones is a first ballot Hall of Famer and also doesn’t have a ring.

You could argue he’s one of the greatest players in league history to never win a Super Bowl. However, it’s another Falcons legend that Bleacher Report wishes had a ring — Tony Gonzalez.

Tony Gonzalez was instrumental in modernizing tight end play and will always be remembered as one of the greatest to ever suit up at the position. He played 17 years in the NFL—the first 12 with the Kansas City Chiefs and the final five for the Atlanta Falcons—at the highest of levels, even earning the last of his 14 total Pro Bowl nods during his swan-song campaign.

Gonzalez broke down the door for tight ends to become the top pass-catching option in an offense, even leading the league in receptions during a historic 2004 season. He never caught fewer than 59 passes in a single season outside of his rookie year and had at least 80 catches on eight occasions.

Despite his immense talent, Gonzalez’s teams never found much success outside of the regular season. While he appeared in seven postseason games across six different playoff runs, his Kansas City squads never made it beyond the divisional round.

With 270 games under his belt, Gonzalez is one of the few players to reach that lofty mark without playing in a Super Bowl. He wrapped up his Hall of Fame career with 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns on 1,325 receptions across all those contests, stats that seem almost unfathomable for him to not have played in a Super Bowl.

With the Falcons, Tony G got to the conference championship, but that’s it. During the 2012 playoffs, Gonzalez enjoyed his lone playoff victory but the club ended up falling to the 49ers after holding a 10-point halftime lead. Though he has a gold jacket, he’ll never have a ring like so many other Falcons legends.

Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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