No. 4: Week 4, 2010
Another Week 4 game in which the Chargers came in at 1-2 and after a tough loss the weak prior against the Seattle Seahawks, they blasted the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm. Gates was a big part of the victory.
During this game, Gates caught career pass No. 500 while finding the end zone twice, catching touchdown passes of 33 and 26 yards. The Chargers won the game 41-10.
And this wasn’t a poor Cardinals team. It had won the NFC West division in each of the previous two seasons and came into this game with a 2-1 record. The Cards just had no answer for the Chargers’ Pro-Bowl tight end.
For the game, Gates finished with 144 yards on seven receptions and the two touchdowns.
No. 3: Week 13, 2009
The Chargers went into Cleveland to face a 1-10 team in December 2009 and struggled against them. Stop me when you’ve heard this before.
The Chargers led by a margin of just 13-7 at halftime before hanging on to win the game 30-23. And when you go back to this game, you’ll find that the story of the day was LaDainian Tomlinson rushing for his 150th career touchdown while also passing Jim Brown on the all-time rushing list.
Of course, as a Cleveland legend, Brown was in the stands and congratulated LT in the locker room after the game. But Gates had a big day as well.
Though he didn’t find the end zone, the Browns’ defense had no answer for him as he caught eight passes for 167 yards, averaging nearly 21 yards per reception.
Those 167 yards are the most he ever had in a game.