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Falcons on Verge of Creating History

Posted Dec 19, 2012

Against the Giants, Julio Jones eclipsed the 1,000-yards receiving mark on the season, giving the Falcons a tandem over 1,000 yards. They have another threat in Tony Gonzalez that can make it three.

You already know the Falcons have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers this season and you may know that they're one of four tandems in Falcons franchise history to have 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the same year. Julio Jones and Roddy White are maybe the best duo of receivers in the NFL and they're why the Falcons offense usually explodes against opposing defenses.

But did you know this year's Falcons have a third receiver approaching 1,000 yards, giving them three in a single season? Tony Gonzalez is currently at 880 yards receivng which means he needs 120 yards over the final two games of the season to hit 1,000. The tight end is averaging 62 yards per game this season and a 1,000-yard year will make it the fifth of his Hall of Fame career.

A season with three receivers each reaching 1,000 yards has happened one other time in franchise history. In 1995, Bert Emanuel, Eric Metcalf and Terance Mathis achieved 1,000-yard seasons. The total combined yards of the three receivers that season was 3,267. Through 14 games this year, the trio of Gonzalez, Jones and White has accumulated 3,107.

For Gonzalez, who has accomplished nearly everything possible in his career and has set numerous individual marks for tight ends, would love the chance to finish his career doing something with some teammates that few have ever done.

“It’d be great," Gonzalez said on Wednesday. "I think I’d probably want it more for that reason (to join White and Jones). … Don’t get me wrong, I’d take it, but I’d rather do it for the team goal and do something that hasn’t been done often.”

At first thought a season with two 1,000-yard wide receivers and a 1,000-yard tight end seems like it's never happened before, but a little research shows it's only been done one other time in NFL history. The 1980 San Diego Chargers got 1,000-yard efforts from tight end Kellen Winslow and wide receivers Charlie Joiner and John Jefferson.

Having three 1,000-yard receivers has only happened six times in NFL history.

Running back Michael Turner is currently at 741 rushing yards on the season. Reaching his third straight 1,000-yard season will require him to average 130 yards in each of the final two games of the season. If he hits 1,000 yards, it will be the second time in franchise history the offense has featured four 1,000-yard players. The offense from 1995 also featured a 1,000-yard running back in Craig Heyward.


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