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Tomlinson and Gates are unmatchable

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/tomlinson-gates-chargers101105.php" target="_blank">RealFootball365.com</a>

    By Connor Byrne

    For the second straight season, the San Diego Chargers' duo of LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates are keeping the offense ticking. Tomlinson leads the NFL with 15 total touchdowns through nine games this year. Gates leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

    So far this season, LT has rushed 835 yards (3rd in the NFL), and leads the league with 1,099 total yards from scrimmage. Since he came into the league in 2001, Tomlinson has put up an incredible 75 total touchdowns. He was the lone bright spot on the Chargers from 2001-2003. Since the beginning of the 2004 season, San Diego has gone 17-9 in regular season play and LT has had a great deal to do with it. Tomlinson is not only among the top backs in the league right now, he is among the top backs to every play the game. When it's all said and done, we may look back in about twenty years and think about LT as being the greatest playmaking back to ever play the game. Last week, he added to his mystique by scoring 4 touchdowns against the New York Jets in a 31-26 victory. If he's the main reason for San Diego's success over the past year and a half, than this next guy is the other reason...

    Antonio Gates is the best tight end in the NFL. Case closed, nobody is on his level, not even Tony Gonzalez of the Chiefs. As a matter of fact, when Gates and Gonzalez' teams squared off a couple of weeks ago, Gates got the better of Gonzalez in a brilliant output from both. Gates caught 10 passes for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. Gonzalez hauled in 7 passes for 97 yards. Gates has played in eight of San Diego's nine games and has caught 51 passes for 707 yards and 6 touchdowns. Last year, he made the Pro Bowl as he caught 81 passes and scored 13 touchdowns, an all-time record for tight ends in the NFL. Incredibly, Gates didn't even play college football. He attended college at Kent State and was a star for their basketball team, which appeared in the NCAA tournament in 2000. He was an undrafted free-agent and the Chargers' general manager, A.J. Smith, decided to give him a chance. He came on late in the 2003 season, his rookie year, and ended up with 24 catches. At 6'4, 260 pounds, Gates possesses unprecedented speed. He is truly an unstoppable force.

    With these two young guns, the San Diego Chargers' offense should click for a very long period of time. I didn't even mention their great young quarterback, Drew Brees. With him at quarterback, Tomlinson at running back, and Gates at tight end, the Chargers have one of the best trios in the NFL. They could even give the Colts' trio of Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, and Marvin Harrison a major run for their money.

    At 5-4, expect this duo to do their best to the lead the Chargers to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. They have faced a brutal schedule so far this year that will get easier for the rest of the year. Personally, I expect the Chargers to get into the playoffs and be a major Super Bowl contender out of the AFC. If you have players like LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, you'll be there in the end.

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