Antonio Gates Playing Elite All Over Again

By Ernie Padaon

Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end

Antonio Gates

(85) scores a touchdown on a 56-yard pass play from quarterback

Philip Rivers

(not pictured) during second half action against the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With the resurrection of Philip Rivers, another player is enjoying the benefits of having his quarterback throwing the ball to him. Antonio Gates looks like that Pro Bowl offensive player all over again. He looks like he is 5 years younger and all the talk about him being slow and losing a step won’t be talked about any more.

It turns out that fixing Philip Rivers and fixing the offensive system helps all kinds of other players. It didn’t help Robert Meachem for us, but it sure has made Eddie Royal look like an awesome slot player. Keenan Allen looks like he has a ton of potential for the offense. Other players are going to step up as well with Philip Rivers getting the football to all of his options.

Antonio Gates is the biggest benefit. There had been talks about him being overrated the last couple of seasons and he had struggled some with different injuries. There was wonder if Gates could play to that elite level all over again. It turns out Gates still has that ability to get open off of the snap of the football and he can pick up first downs with the best of them.

It is good to have Antonio Gates back on the field playing at that elite level. It just makes our offense that much more deadly.