Falcons look to Gonzalez early, take early lead on Panthers

AP

The Falcons didn’t wait long to start feeding Tony Gonzalez in his final game, and they didn’t wait to try to spoil the Panthers’ party.

Gonzalez caught the first pass of the game, which started the Falcons on an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive, giving them a 7-0 lead. Fullback Jason Snelling got the score, though all eyes have been on the retiring tight end early.

Gonzalez caught two passes for 28 yards on the drive, which marked the first time all year the Panthers have allowed a touchdown on an opening drive.

The Panthers can still clinch a bye in the playoffs with a win, but they haven’t won in Atlanta since 2007.