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TE Antonio Gates - San Diego Chargers

6-4, 260Born: 6-18-1980College: Kent StateDrafted: ---

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Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
15 vs OAK 35 1 11 0 0 1.1
16 at CLE 57 8 94 1 0 15.4
17 vs KC 38 5 55 1 0 11.5

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs KC (8 / 5 / 55 / 1 rec)

Gates came into the game trailing legendary Tony Gonzalez by one on the all-time list for touchdowns by a tight end. From early on, it appeared that San Diego was going to make a conscious effort to try and get him at least the tying score and possibly the record-breaker. They succeeded in one out of two. After drawing a holding penalty in the end zone from five yards out, Gates was the recipient of career touchdown number 111, tying Gonzalez. On the play, Hunter Henry appeared to be open in the end zone but Rivers checked it down to Gates in the flat instead. Gates challenged the defender and leapt in the air to stretch the ball out over the goal line for the score. It seemed like he could have just bowled him over just as easily, but he opted to go high instead. In the second half, Gates again came face-to-face with a defender on a reception in the right flat. He looked like he was about to leap over Marcus Peters. But just as Peters braced for impact and backed away a bit, Gates just lunged forward into him as the two shared a laugh afterwards. Later in the drive, Rivers hit Gates right in the hands for what would have been the record-breaking score. But the ball appeared to get on him a little bit quicker than he expected, and he was unable to corral the pass. Late in the game with San Diego again knocking on the doorstep of the end zone, Rivers tossed a score to the aforementioned Henry. He appeared a bit upset about it on the sideline, perhaps realizing it was the last chance to get Gates the record in San Diego.

2016 Week 16 vs CLE (13 / 8 / 94 / 1 rec)

Between the former presence of Ladarius Green and the current presence of Hunter Henry, Gates has been written off by several pundits for the last several seasons. Yet he is going to close out yet another campaign as San Diego's top pass-catching tight end, and showed in this game that he's still got the complete trust of quarterback Philip Rivers. He started his afternoon off with one of the easiest touchdowns of his career on San Diego's opening possession. From the goal line, he leaked out into the flat off play action and there wasn't a defender within ten yards of him by the time he caught the ball. He added a couple more receptions later in the half, but really got busy in the second half. He drew a long pass interference penalty in the back corner of the end zone to set up another first and goal. And on the potential game-tying drives late in the fourth quarter, he was consistently Philip Rivers' first look. Gates made a wide open 20-yard grab to put the ball at the 13-yard line, but the ensuing potential game-tying field goal attempt was blocked. On the next drive, Gates made an incredible shoestring grab off the turf with the defender hanging all over him and trying to rip it away. He added a sideline grab on the next play, and then connected on a game-saving 4th and 10 pass play over the middle for 25 more yards. He was wide open on the play, and the catch put San Diego into field goal range. His final reception of the game came on a third down pass play. He couldn't quite push the pile far enough ahead to pick up the first down, so the Chargers were unable to spike the ball since it was now fourth down. With the team out of timeouts, they had to rush the field goal unit onto the field, which may have helped contribute to the kick being rushed a bit. It was missed wide right.

2016 Week 15 vs OAK (2 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

Gates' San Diego career may be ending with a whimper. After playing pretty well and consistently for most of the season, he was almost nonexistent from the gameplan in this one. He made one first half reception, sitting in front of the zone and bringing in the bullet pass from Rivers. It was a nice route, and showed good athleticism in going low to the ground to bring it in. But aside from that, he was unable to get open either by route-running or through sheer physicality.

2016 Week 14 vs CAR (9 / 5 / 61 / 0 rec)

Gates made a nice grab early with a couple of defenders right on him, then all but disappeared until the second half. He did have one nice grab on a big play early in the second half. The defender tried stepping in front of him for the sideline pick, but all that did was to flip the ball up in the air. Gates managed to maintain his focus and bring it in for a nice 27-yard catch and run up the field. Gates would add a strong third down grab to the 11-yard line while fighting through two defenders. But that was the closest he got to the end zone. He was targeted on a 2-point conversion late in the third quarter and actually appeared to be open for a second, but the Philip Rivers pass was a bit underthrown and knocked away by the defender. Late in the game, Gates was the target on a deep ball up the left side that had no real shot of being caught - it just appeared Rivers was throwing up prayers and hoping they'd be answered by that point in the game.

2016 Week 13 vs TB (4 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)

Gates, who went catchless in last week's game, made a short grab over the middle on the very first play of the game. It appeared San Diego perhaps made it a point to get him the ball on the first play, so they didn't have a repeat of last week's zero targets. He only added a handful of other receptions, none of which were big plays down the field. He bailed out Philip Rivers on a third and long pass play by going up and snagging it before leaning forward as the defender hung all over him. He converted another key third down grab over the middle on a potential game-tying drive late. But there was nothing down the field and nothing near the end zone.

2016 Week 12 vs HOU (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Gates had caught at least one pass in 77 consecutive games coming into this one, but he didn't even see a target against Houston. In fact, the only time his name was mentioned was on a pass play to Tyrell Williams where Gates couldn't get open. Rookie Hunter Henry managed a score, but neither was heavily involved in the gameplan.

2016 Week 10 vs MIA (9 / 4 / 63 / 1 rec)

Gates did almost all of his damage (as well as a couple of miscues) prior to halftime. He had two very uncharacteristic drops in the first half, both on passes thrown a little bit away from his body but also passes he almost always brings in. He did follow up the second drop with a nice sideline grab for decent yardage to kind of offset the drop. Even more fortunately for his owners, those two drops bookended some nice production. Rivers hit him with a wide open pass down to the 11-yard line, and followed that up with a touchdown on the next play. He cut in over the middle and made a tough grab in traffic while being hit by two defenders on either side of his body, but still managed to maintain possession.

2016 Week 9 vs TEN (9 / 5 / 75 / 1 rec)

With fellow tight end Hunter Henry out of action in this game, it was little surprise that Gates saw his most extensive work of the season. He looked a bit more spry than usual right at the outset, converting a short third down conversion with surprisingly shifty moves to pick up extra yardage after the catch. He actually could have had more than the 17 he got, but he slipped after the second move to shake a defender. Later on that drive, he scored the 108th touchdown of his career with a quick out to the left (he now sits three behind Tony Gonzalez on the all-time tight end scoring list). He added a couple of deep receptions down the seam where he just sat down in the zone and waited for the Rivers pass. He looked to have pushed off on both of them, but it was so subtle that the official either didn't notice or didn't think it affected the play. But that slight extra space gave him all the room he needed. On his last catch, he caught it at the 5-yard line and spun off tacklers before being twisted down at the 2-yard line. He had earlier been targeted in the end zone, but was well-covered on the play and the ball wasn't really catchable. On a side note, it won't show up in the box score but Gates had the key block on a first half run by Melvin Gordon that went for 43 yards. He's always been an elite receiver, but if Gates' blocking remains impressive, Henry may have a much tougher time getting Gates off the field.

2016 Week 8 vs DEN (9 / 4 / 33 / 1 rec)

Gates had a solid stat line, but only because he managed to get into the end zone early on. He caught a short pass over the middle with a defender right on top of him, but he did a nice job of dragging the defender with him as he lunged over the goal line at the last second for the score. He was later targeted in the end zone again on a corner fade where he appeared to be wide open having beaten his man, but the throw from Rivers was just out of his reach to the back corner. As far as his work outside the red zone, he actually showed a nice "wiggle" to break to the outside in beating his man off the line. The break to the outside picked up a first down as the pass from Rivers was waiting for him when he got there. He also had a huge grab over the middle late in the fourth quarter with a defender all over him. He fought for every inch to pick up a first down, and barely managed to convert. One item to note is that there was another instance of some miscommunication between he and Rivers, which is becoming an almost weekly occurrence between the two (who are typically on the same page in everything they do).

2016 Week 7 vs ATL (10 / 5 / 38 / 0 rec)

Despite converting a game-saving fourth down reception with under two minutes left in regulation, Gates actually had a very poor performance. Nearly all of his receptions were short grabs over the middle, but he made two costly mistakes in this game that nearly cost the Chargers the game. The first was a miscommunication on a deep fade in the end zone where he never turned around for the ball. It could have easily been intercepted had the defender been looking for the ball, as Gates had no idea at all where it was. There has been a shockingly high number of plays this season with miscommunication between Rivers and Gates, who are almost always on the same page. At the end of regulation, Gates was targeted on a bullet pass at the goal line for what would have been the likely game-winning touchdown. He allowed the pass to bounce off his hands, however, and San Diego had to settle for a field goal (he had earlier dropped a potential third down conversion in the first half, showing a surprising propensity to drop passes). The aforementioned fourth down conversion should be noted, however, as the Chargers faced a must-convert fourth and 2 scenario with two minutes left in the game. The big tight end converted over the middle with a quick slant to keep the drive alive. Also noteworthy is that rookie tight end Hunter Henry, who has really been impressive thus far, appeared to get injured late in the game. There were no immediate reports on his condition afterward, but if he were to miss any time, Gates would likely be the obvious beneficiary of the extra targets.

2016 Week 6 vs DEN (6 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

Gates had a tough evening. He dropped a short pass over the middle on San Diego's first offensive play of the game. And while he did convert two other third down conversions in the first half, he dropped another just before the half. It would have been a tough grab and the ball was thrown a little bit away from him, but those are catches he normally makes. In the second half, Gates and Rivers were uncharacteristically not on the same page on a couple of passes where the ball wasn't thrown where the target was supposed to be. I a bit of an ominous sign for Gates owners, rookie Hunter Henry turned in another excellent performance. It's relatively early in the season, but Gates doesn't appear to be the go-to guy even amongst the team's tight ends let alone the overall receivers.

2016 Week 5 vs OAK (5 / 4 / 30 / 1 rec)

In his return from injury, Gates rewarded fantasy owners who took the chance on him with a late touchdown. He made a quick slant inside, and benefitted from Tyrell Williams kind of pushing his defender out of the way so he was able to waltz into the end zone for the score. He was the primary option on an earlier touchdown pass that went to impressive rookie Hunter Henry, but with double coverage on him, Philip Rivers checked down to the rookie tight end instead. Aside from that, he kind of shared the tight end receiving workload with the aforementioned Henry. Gates had an early fumble on his first reception with a short grab over the middle before turning and spinning upfield to pick up extra yardage. He carelessly held the ball, however, allowing it to be knocked loose and recovered by the Raiders.

2016 Week 2 vs JAX (5 / 3 / 15 / 1 rec)

Gates legs and YAC ability have all but disappeared but it is clear that Rivers still trust him in short yardage situations. He can still be seen as a 3rd down and red zone outlet, but he did not look like a focal point by any means.

2016 Week 1 vs KC (4 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)

Gates did not play a major role in the Chargers offense today as he accounted for 3 catches and 20 yards on the day. Gates, now 36, does not play as big a role in the offense as he used to. They will still utilize his size and jumping ability in the red zone, but do not look for the same totals as seasons past.

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