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Gates, Floyd in rhythm

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 7 hours ago

    Tight end Antonio Gates and wide receiver Malcom Floyd combined for nine receptions, 117 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

    SAN DIEGO – The connection is both symbolic of the past and future and telling for the present. A relic, a living showcase and a likely dream.
    Philip Rivers[​IMG] threw down the seam to Antonio Gates[​IMG] to open Saturday’s game, the second time in three preseason games he’s found his tight end on the first play from scrimmage.
    The two Pro Bowlers might be the most recognizable Chargers thanks to their concurrent rise to the top of the NFL. Now, with both signed to long-term contracts through 2015, it’s almost certain the offense will count on them as cornerstones.
    That’s an appetizing thought for San Diego if the two work together like they did on Saturday. Targeted seven times, Gates caught five passes for 66 yards, all in the first half.
    Malcom Floyd[​IMG] also caught four passes for 51 yards before halftime.
    “Those guys, they’ve been playmakers for us and they’re going to continue to be,” Rivers said. “It was certainly good to get those guys involved and get them going in the first half.”
    Gates is one of the most established tight ends in NFL history. Since his rookie season in 2003, Gates leads all tight ends with 59 touchdown catches and ranks second with 6,223 receiving yards. But he didn’t downplay the importance of Saturday’s third preseason game at New Orleans.
    “The whole idea of the preseason is just staying in rhythm for the opener,” Gates said. “We were able to hit some throws and make some catches. (We) just kept that chemistry and continuity.”
    The pair won’t be the only pass-catching options – San Diego completed passes to 12 different players despite fewer plays for the backups – but they certainly will be expected to handle a solid chunk.
    As the Saints began to key on Mathews, who rushed for 38 yards in the first quarter, Gates and Floyd found room to operate. They generated 69 of the Chargers’ 76 yards during a second-quarter touchdown drive that culminated in a floater to Floyd in the back left corner of the end zone.
    “I think Philip did a good job keeping the ball moving around to a lot of people,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “Legedu (Naanee) obviously got more opportunities. Malcom got some plays. Obviously Gates is going to be involved. That whole thing I felt good about.”

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