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Los Angeles Chargers: Antonio Gates is the new tight end touchdown king

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Antonio Gates
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Antonio Gates
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Antonio Gates has now caught more touchdown passes than any other tight end in NFL history.

Think about that. Gates’ 112 career touchdown receptions are more than Shannon Sharpe, Ozzie Newsome or Kellen Winslow ever had. It’s also more than Tony Gonzalez, the man who previously held the record, ever had.

Gates set the record on a 7-yard catch in the third quarter. His teammates mobbed him in the end zone, recognizing the significance of their teammates’ accomplishment.

If you weren’t able to see the historic touchdown catch, you can view it here.

What may be even more impressive than the number of touchdown receptions he has is the amount of games he’s done it in. Gates has 112 touchdown catches in 206 career games. It took Gonzalez, a sure-fire Hall of Famer, 270 games to reach 111 touchdown receptions.

Not bad for a college basketball player.

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Gates spent his college playing career on the hardwood at Kent State. When it was revealed that NBA scouts didn’t see much professional potential in him, Gates worked out for the Chargers who immediately signed him as an undrafted free agent. The rest has turned into one of the NFL’s best stories.

The only thing that would have made his record-breaking moment any better is if the Chargers could have beaten the Miami Dolphins, but a last-second field goal from Younghoe Koo sailed right and the Chargers lost 19-17.

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Still, Gates now holds a record that could stand for several years. Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots caught his 69th career touchdown pass on Sunday and many analysts have pegged him as the man to eventually have more than 112.

Gates added to his Hall-of-Fame resume on Sunday and he should be celebrated for the tremendous accomplishment and his fantastic career.

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