Gonzalez is at 88 with a game to play this year; the same count he had before the season finale in 2000. When he caught only five balls in a losing effort at Atlanta that year, Gonzalez finished with 93 catches -- third-best total for a tight end in history -- and the Chiefs finished 7-9 in what proved to be Gunther Cunningham's last season as head coach.
Gonzalez doesn't want a repeat of history this year, as a loss in San Diego would leave the Chiefs 7-9 again. That's one reason why he only reluctantly discusses the record within reach.
"No, not this time. You guys are going to make a big thing out of this again, just like you did the last time I got close, and I'm gonna be disappointed again if it doesn't happen," he tells inquiring reporters lightly.
Pressed for comment, Gonzalez admits that this is a mark of distinction he would like to have as part of his distinguished career, one that already saw him rise to No. 4 among all tight ends in receiving yardage (6,761, just passing former Chargers great Kellen Winslow last week).
"Especially when you're drawing as much double coverage as I have this year," he said. Drawing (cornerbacks) like (Denver's) Champ Bailey and (Oakland's) Charles Woodson will make this all the more satisfying.
"It's just too bad we couldn't do it in a winning fashion."
Among the handful of Chiefs offensive team records that could fall this weekend is single-season points. KC is just 19 points short of passing the record of 484 scored in 2003. The Chiefs are just 16 first downs shy of the NFL record set by Miami in 1984.
DE Eric Hicks, on what he expects from a San Diego team that is anxious to rest some starting players prior to next week's AFC home game at Qualcomm Stadium.
"I expect them to come out and try to pound the ball on us so they can get this one over as fast as possible," said Hicks, remembering how Kansas City did the same thing (34 rushes) in its finale to a 13-3 season prior to a bye week.
WR Dante Hall ended his kick return scoreless drought in Week 11 this season when he returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD against San Diego. The strangest aspect of that day, however, was that Hall was within 15 yards of two scores that before he inexplicably dropped the ball while shifting hands in the stretch run of a previous kickoff return.
BY THE NUMBERS:
126 - The number of fourth-quarter points scored by the Chiefs this year. Only Minnesota has scored more (128).
122 - The number of fourth-quarter points yielded by the Chiefs this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"I don't think it could happen. Not by our punters, anyway." -- Dick Vermeil, when asked to explain what would happen if a punt or a pass were to strike the guide wires used to control the above-field camera used on select national telecasts.