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Kansas City at San Diego

Brees tosses Chargers past Chiefs in 'must-win game'

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

SAN DIEGO -- Antonio Gates showed why the San Diego Chargers think he's the best tight end in the NFL.

Gates caught three touchdown passes from Drew Brees and the Chargers also got a scoring pass from LaDainian Tomlinson in beating the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs 28-20 on Sunday.

Gates put the game out of reach with his third TD, when he caught a short pass at the KC 32, bulled through strong safety Sammy Knight and ran into the end zone for a 28-13 lead with 9:10 left.

"It's like LT. They are both Supermanesque," said Brees, who threw for 324 yards. "We see it in practice every day. Game day, it gets better. I'm lucky to have those two."

Gates had 10 catches for 145 yards, both career highs, and the three TD catches tied his career best. Last year, his 13 TD catches set an NFL record for tight ends.

He has six touchdowns in seven games. He missed the opener while finishing his three-game suspension for missing a team-imposed deadline for ending his training camp holdout.

Gates' big day for the Chargers (4-4) came against a team that features six-time Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez.

"The guy on the other side is not too shabby," Brees said.

But Brees thinks Gates is the best tight end. "They are 1-2," the QB said. "He showed, or confirmed, that he is the guy."

Asked if he's the NFL's best tight end, Gates deferred to Gonzalez.

"Tony has definitely set a high standard at tight end," Gates said. "He's done it year in and year out. This is just my third year and I'm upcoming. He's been to six Pro Bowls. I have to get to six Pro Bowls to say that."

Gonzalez had seven catches for 97 yards and one score for KC (4-3).

"Any time we play against each other, he makes me elevate my game," Gates said. "That is just the competitive nature about me."

Gonzalez was impressed with Gates.

"I am happy for Antonio. He came out and played great today, one of the best games I have ever seen by a tight end," Gonzalez said.

Gates, a former college basketball star, continues to thrive no matter how teams try to cover him.

"They just get him in a one-on-one situation and he wins that battle," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

"He is very powerful," Brees said. "You can't really tackle him with one guy. You see him break tackles all the time, like he did on the last touchdown. Obviously his ability to catch the football is special."

Brees completed 25 of 43 passes, with TD throws of 19, 20 and 35 yards to Gates. He also was intercepted once.

Kansas City's Priest Holmes sustained a mild concussion when hit by rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman midway through the third quarter and didn't return. Vermeil said Holmes will be OK.

Tomlinson gained 69 yards on 17 carries a week after being held to a career-low 7 yards in a loss at Philadelphia. He was held without a touchdown for the second straight game.

Green, whose father, Jim, died late last week, was 31-of-43 for 347 yards.

The Chargers stopped the Chiefs at the San Diego 9 late in the game. Green did throw a 7-yard scoring pass to Eddie Kennison with 2:12 left, but the Chargers recovered the onside kick and the Chiefs were out of timeouts.

Gates caught a 19-yard TD pass down the right sideline in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, then burned linebacker Kawika Mitchell to make a 20-yard scoring catch with 27 seconds left before halftime for a 21-3 lead.

Tomlinson's TD throw to Eric Parker was sandwiched in between. Tomlinson had given the Chargers a first down at the KC 17 with a 13-yard run on the final play of the first quarter. On the next play, he swung out to the right, took a quick toss from Brees and threw to Parker, who was the only player in the end zone.

The Chiefs, particularly cornerback Patrick Surtain, bit so hard when Brees tossed to Tomlinson that Parker didn't have a defender within 10 yards of him.

Tomlinson has thrown four career touchdown passes.

Kansas City's Lawrence Tynes kicked a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 20-yarder in the fourth quarter. Gonzalez caught a 16-yard pass midway through the third quarter to pull the Chiefs to 21-10.


  • Tomlinson hasn't gone two straight games without a touchdown since the first two games of the 2003 season.
  • Merriman had two sacks and forced a fumble by Green, and rookie DE Luis Castillo had 1 1/2 sacks.
  • Players who left with injuries were Chiefs CB Eric Warfield (right hip pointer) and S Jerome Woods (strained right hamstring), and San Diego LT Roman Oben (sprained foot) and S Terrence Kiel (sprained ankle).
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Antonio Gates grabs 10 balls for 145 yards, both career highs, with three TDs in the victory.
Antonio Gates grabs 10 balls for 145 yards, both career highs, with three TDs in the victory. (Getty Images)


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Sun. Oct. 30Final
Scoring Summary
TDAntonio Gates, 19 Yd pass from Drew Brees (Nate Kaeding kick is good), 4:30. Drive: 9 plays, 81 yards in 4:03.
TDEric Parker, 17 Yd pass from LaDainian Tomlinson (Nate Kaeding kick is good), 14:56. Drive: 9 plays, 82 yards in 3:20.
FGLawrence Tynes 34 Yd, 1:56. Drive: 6 plays, 53 yards in 3:28.
TDAntonio Gates, 20 Yd pass from Drew Brees (Nate Kaeding kick is good), 0:27. Drive: 5 plays, 74 yards in 1:29.
TDTony Gonzalez, 16 Yd pass from Trent Green (Lawrence Tynes kick is good), 6:45. Drive: 6 plays, 91 yards in 2:21.
FGLawrence Tynes 20 Yd, 12:00. Drive: 6 plays, 33 yards in 3:00.
TDAntonio Gates, 35 Yd pass from Drew Brees (Nate Kaeding kick is good), 9:10. Drive: 5 plays, 53 yards in 2:50.
TDEddie Kennison, 7 Yd pass from Trent Green (Lawrence Tynes kick is good), 2:12. Drive: 7 plays, 64 yards in 1:37.
Players of the Game
San Diego

A. Gates
Rec 10
Yds 145
Avg 14.5
TD 3

T. Green
Att 43
Comp 31
Yds 347
TD 2
Kansas City
T. Green31/4334720
L. Johnson655046
P. Holmes1438012
T. Green1202
E. Kennison7115133
T. Gonzalez797136
C. Horn758013
L. Johnson328017
D. Hall216011
P. Holmes315010
M. Boerigter1909
T. Richardson1909
San Diego
D. Brees25/4332431
L. Tomlinson1/11710
L. Tomlinson1769015
L. Neal31005
D. Sproles1303
D. Brees1101
A. Gates10145335
K. McCardell573030
E. Parker463121
L. Tomlinson323016
L. Neal221017
R. Caldwell116016
J. Peelle1000
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
BAL 19 Final
PIT 20
BUF 16 Final
NE 21
TB 10 Final
SF 15
PHI 21 Final
DEN 49
OAK 34 Final
TEN 25
JAC 21 Final
STL 24
WAS 0 Final
NYG 36
MIA 21 Final
NO 6
CLE 16 Final
HOU 19
CHI 19 Final
DET 13
ARI 13 Final
DAL 34
GB 14 Final
CIN 21
MIN 13 Final
CAR 38