Gates makes case as top tight end; other Chargers strong too

Associated Press
Published October 31, 2005

SAN DIEGO - Antonio Gates showed why the Chargers think he's the best tight end in the league.

Gates caught three touchdowns from Drew Brees and San Diego also got a scoring pass from LaDainian Tomlinson in beating its AFC West rival.

Gates put the game out of reach with his third score, when he caught a short pass at the Kansas City 32, bulled through strong safety Sammy Knight and ran into the end zone for a 28-13 lead with 9:10 left.

"It's like LT (Tomlinson). They are both Supermanesque," said Brees, who threw for 324 yards. "We see it in practice every day. Game day, it gets better. I'm lucky to have those two."

Gates had 10 catches for 145 yards, both career highs, and the three touchdowns tied his career best. Last year, his 13 touchdown catches set a league record for tight ends.

His big day came against a team that features six-time Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez.

"I am happy for Antonio," Gonzalez said. "He came out and played ... one of the best games I have ever seen by a tight end."

Tomlinson had 69 yards rushing a week after being held to a career-low 7 at Philadelphia. He had no touchdowns for the second game in a row after scoring one in 18 consecutive games.

NOTABLE: Kansas City's Priest Holmes suffered a mild concussion when hit by rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman midway through the third quarter. Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said Holmes will be okay.