In the final act of Tony Gonzalez's brilliant 17-year career, the Falcons nearly sent the legendary tight end off with an upset of the division-leading Panthers, but Carolina's defense proved too much to overcome as the Panthers escaped with a narrow 21-20 victory.
PHOTOS: Scroll through these can't-miss photo of Sunday's game that marked the last game of the 2013 season and the final game of Tony Gonzalez's career.
The Falcons prepared to say farewell to a legend Sunday as Tony Gonzalez hit the field to play the final four quarters of his storied career.
PHOTOS: Fans gathered in the tailgate lots for the last time of the 2013 season Sunday morning. Take a look at these sights before the game.
The Falcons celebrated Tony Gonzalez throughout his final career game Sunday, including with this video shown at halftime that highlighted the tight end's Hall of Fame career.
Quarterback Matt Ryan finds running back Jason Snelling for a 9-yard touchdown pass that puts the Falcons up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Safety William Moore intercepts a pass thrown by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to make it a Falcons ball in the second quarter.
Rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford team up to strip the ball from Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams and then recover it during the second quarter.
Wide receiver Roddy White hauls in a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Ryan that puts the Falcons up 17-14.
The Falcons hosted a halftime celebration at Sunday's game for Tony Gonzalez by presenting him a half-Falcons, half-Chiefs helmet to honor the legacy he leaves behind as he retires from his illustrious 17-year career.