SAN DIEGO-It is a privilege to watch Antonio Gates and Philip Rivers every Sunday. It’s fun to watch these two work their magic on the football field time after time again. There’s something to be said about chemistry. There’s the occasional wink. A nod every now and then comes into fruition.
Whatever it is that Gates and Rivers have going on, NFL’s defenses has had a difficult time trying to stop or slow down the West Coast’s version of the dynamic duo. The Super Bowl champs Seattle Seahawks found this out out just like other teams in the league has come to grips with: stopping Gates and Rivers is a lot harder than it may look like in the film room. You don’t become the best quarterback-tight end combo in league history by just going to film study every afternoon. You make it happen on the field.
That’s what Gates and Rivers do, and they do it well. So good has Gates and Rivers been together that their NFL history-making touchdown standard (65 TDs) between a quarterback and tight end that they are 22 scores ahead of the Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski (43 TDs) tandem. Not even the Hall of Fame Chargers duo of Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow (41 TDs) registered as many scores together as the Rivers-Gates team.
Rivers and Gate are symmetry in motion when they get together and operate between the hash marks. They both both have this uncanny ability to read each other’s minds and make plays together that defies logic. There are some things that you just can’t draw up on the chalkboard or analyze while watching film.
This would fit Rivers and Gates to perfectly, especially if you happened to watch the Chargers-Seahawks matchup at Qualcomm Stadium. After dismantling Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers with ease in their season opener, the Seahawks and their legendary “Legion of Boom” defense was expected to handle Rivers, Gates and the rest of the Chargers.
Well, as it turns out, the Seawhawks were the ones that were dominated. For at least one game, the tables flipped on the mighty team from Seattle. It was Rivers and Gates who did most of the flipping, combining for three touchdowns through the air and inviting a country full of pundits and self-appointed analysts to wonder what had just happen. What happened was the Chargers dominating control of the clock with just over 42 minutes in the possession of the offense. What happened was the Chargers being efficient on third-down conversions.
What happened was Gates flying through the air to make a couple of unbelievable catches from passes thrown by Rivers, including his three touchdowns. And when you do good, good things will happen to you as Gates was selected as the week’s AFC Player of the Week for his efforts. Gates caught seven passes for 96 yards and three TDs in the Chargers’ 30-21 win over the Seahawks in Week 2.