1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Brees, Gates flood Chiefs' defense in 28-20 win

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: USA Today

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/gates08.jpg" alt="Antonio Gates" />

    By Skip Wood

    SAN DIEGO - Having finished slathering baby oil on his valuable arms, attaching his right earring and pulling on a shirt and pants, Antonio Gates was asked to reflect on his outstanding performance Sunday. Was it, in fact, the best game of his career? "Hey," the San Diego Chargers tight end said with a beaming smile. "My career ain't over with."

    Neither is the Chargers' season, and Gates had a huge hand in making sure of that and getting San Diego back into the thick of the AFC West.

    The third-year man from Kent State had 10 catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns - career highs, all - to spearhead his team's 28-20 win vs. the Kansas City Chiefs before 65,750 fans at sun-splashed Qualcomm Stadium.

    No play was bigger than Gate' 35-yard scoring catch from Drew Brees with 9:10 remaining. He gathered Brees' offering in the flat, bowled over strong safety Sammy Knight, then high-tailed it into the end zone to put his team up 28-13.

    Although the Chiefs pulled to 28-20 with 2:12 left, they had no more timeouts and the Chargers thus were able to extinguish all but the final 22 seconds - and that wasn't enough for Kansas City, which fell to 4-3.

    The Chargers, on the other hand, improved to 4-4 and won a game they needed desperately. Many of the players, in fact, bluntly referred to their situation as must-win. Lose to the Chiefs, and suddenly they're looking at Kansas City from a deep, unpleasant hole.

    Not that they don't believe they're good. Far from it. After all, they had a fourth-quarter lead in all four of their losses and were just 12 points from being undefeated.

    Yet after leading 21-3 at halftime, San Diego had to sweat in the final minutes.

    "We just have to focus," Chargers defensive tackle Jamal Williams said, "on finishing the game."

    That, and getting the ball to Gates, who left Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil pained yet impressed.

    "That kind of guy, as you saw most of the time somebody was on him, he just wins the battle - physically, one-on-one," Vermeil said.

    Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 69 yards and no touchdowns on 17 attempts, but it didn't much matter.

    "This is a team situation, (and) any given Sunday we can run the ball or pass the ball," Gates said. "Today was a situation where we passed more than we ran."

    Perhaps, but consider the observations of Gates' Kansas City counterpart.

    "He came out and played great today," Tony Gonzalez said. "One of the great games I have ever seen by a tight end."

    Gates showed why the Chargers think he's the best tight end in the NFL.

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

    Last year, Gates' 13 TD catches set an NFL record for tight ends.

    He has six touchdowns in seven games. He missed the opener while finishing his three-game suspension for missing a team-imposed deadline for ending his training camp holdout.

    Gates' big day came against a team that features six-time Pro Bowler Gonzalez.

    "The guy on the other side is not too shabby," Brees said.

    But Brees thinks Gates is the best tight end. "They are 1-2," the QB said. "He showed, or confirmed, that he is the guy."

    Asked if he's the NFL's best tight end, Gates deferred to Gonzalez.

    "Tony has definitely set a high standard at tight end," Gates said. "He's done it year in and year out. This is just my third year and I'm upcoming. He's been to six Pro Bowls. I have to get to six Pro Bowls to say that."

    Gonzalez had seven catches for 97 yards and one score.

    "Any time we play against each other, he makes me elevate my game," Gates said. "That is just the competitive nature about me."

    Gonzalez was impressed with Gates.

    "I am happy for Antonio," Gonzalez said.

    Gates, a former college basketball star, continues to thrive no matter how teams try to cover him.

    "They just get him in a one-on-one situation and he wins that battle," Vermeil said.

    "He is very powerful," Brees said. "You can't really tackle him with one guy. You see him break tackles all the time, like he did on the last touchdown. Obviously his ability to catch the football is special."

    Brees completed 25 of 43 passes, with TD throws of 19, 20 and 35 yards to Gates. He also was intercepted once.

    Kansas City's Priest Holmes sustained a mild concussion when hit by rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman midway through the third quarter and didn't return. Vermeil said Holmes will be OK.

    Tomlinson gained 69 yards on 17 carries a week after being held to a career-low 7 yards in a loss at Philadelphia. He was held without a touchdown for the second straight game.

    Green, whose father, Jim, died late last week, was 31-of-43 for 347 yards. (Related audio: Green talks about his father)

    The Chargers stopped the Chiefs at the San Diego 9 late in the game. Green did throw a 7-yard scoring pass to Eddie Kennison with 2:12 left, but the Chargers recovered the onside kick.

    Gates caught a 19-yard TD pass down the right sideline in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, then burned linebacker Kawika Mitchell to make a 20-yard scoring catch with 27 seconds left before halftime for a 21-3 lead.

    Tomlinson's TD throw to Eric Parker was sandwiched in between. Tomlinson had given the Chargers a first down at the KC 17 with a 13-yard run on the final play of the first quarter. On the next play, he swung out to the right, took a quick toss from Brees and threw to Parker, who was the only player in the end zone.

    The Chiefs, particularly cornerback Patrick Surtain, bit so hard when Brees tossed to Tomlinson that Parker didn't have a defender within 10 yards of him.

    Tomlinson has thrown four career touchdown passes.

    Kansas City's Lawrence Tynes kicked a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 20-yarder in the fourth quarter. Gonzalez caught a 16-yard pass midway through the third quarter to pull the Chiefs to 21-10.

    Notes: Tomlinson hasn't gone two straight games without a touchdown since the first two games of the 2003 season. ... Merriman had two sacks and forced a fumble by Green, and rookie DE Luis Castillo had 1"½ sacks. ... Players who left with injuries were Chiefs CB Eric Warfield (right hip pointer) and S Jerome Woods (strained right hamstring), and San Diego LT Roman Oben (sprained foot) and S Terrence Kiel (sprained ankle).

Share This Page