Chargers All-Time Lists

Reliving the top 5 games of Antonio Gates’ career

SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against safety Adrian Wilson #24 of the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm Stadium on October 3, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against safety Adrian Wilson #24 of the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm Stadium on October 3, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 20: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers makes a reception against the Miami Dolphins defense at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 20: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers makes a reception against the Miami Dolphins defense at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

No. 2: Week 13, 2005

This was back when a basketball player playing tight end was still pretty foreign to the league and teams still had no idea had to handle Gates. The Miami Dolphins sure didn’t in December 2005.

Unfortunately, the Chargers lost this game.

Chasing a playoff spot at 8-4, the Chargers seemed to overlook this Dolphins team, but they didn’t lost the game because of Gates, who caught a career-high 13 passes in this game. He also had 123 yards receiving and a touchdown.

But the Chargers couldn’t overcome a big game from Chis Chambers (who would later play for the Chargers) and three Olindo Mare field goals. The loss sent the team into a tailspin as it would lose three of its final fours games and miss the postseason.

But in terms of receptions, Gates never had more catches in a game than he did on that December day against the Dolphins.

KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 25: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball as he is grabbed by Jovan Belcher #59 of the Kansas City Chiefs on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 25: Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball as he is grabbed by Jovan Belcher #59 of the Kansas City Chiefs on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

No. 1: Week 7, 2005

Gates caught three touchdowns in a game three times during his career with the last coming against the Seahawks in a game in 2014, which arguably could have been on this list.

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The second time he accomplished the feat was the best game he ever had as he dominated the defense of the Kansas City Chiefs, catching 10 passes for 145 yards and the three scores. The 10 receptions and 145 yards were both career highs to that point. But this game came against a bitter divisional rival.

Gates liked to play the Chiefs as he had some of his best games against them. On this day, he had touchdown receptions from Drew Brees of 19, 20 and 35 yards as the Chargers beat the Chiefs on the day before Halloween in 2005.

Here’s a stat Chargers fans will like. Against the Chiefs during his career, Gates caught 175 passes for 1,431 yards and 17 touchdowns. That would be a good career for a lot of tight ends.

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