Antonio Gates sets all-time record for touchdowns by a tight end

Antonio Gates never played a down of college football. On Sunday he set a record for most touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history.

Gates has been so good for so long that his backstory has faded a bit. It’s amazing what the Los Angeles Chargers tight end has done, and that he’ll be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday despite playing basketball in college. On Sunday, Gates scored his 112th career touchdown, passing Tony Gonzalez for the all-time record for tight ends.

Antonio Gates broke the NFL record for touchdowns by a tight end on Sunday. (AP)

[Watch on Yahoo: Ravens vs. Jaguars live from London Sept. 24]

It was a trademark Gates score. He started his route to the outside, then cut up and found an open spot away from the Miami Dolphins defense. Philip Rivers, as he has done so many times through the years, saw his tight end open and delivered him the record-setting pass. The Chargers piled on Gates in the end zone to celebrate, with some of his teammates even coming off the sideline to join in. He set the record in his 206th career game, 64 fewer games than Gonzalez played.

It was a great moment, though a little bittersweet for those in San Diego. The Chargers moved to Los Angeles in the offseason, with Gates tied with Gonzalez for the record. It seemed strange that Gates, who became one of the greatest players in San Diego Chargers history, would set the record in the first home game in Los Angeles Chargers history.

The moment might have happened in Los Angeles, but hopefully the disgruntled San Diego fans were watching. It was a great moment for one of the most unlikely success stories in NFL history.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

More NFL coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Of course Rob Gronkowski’s 69th touchdown was special
Joe Flacco ties dubious NFL record
Report: Cowboys owner ‘impeding’ new contract for NFL commissioner
Brady becomes latest NFL star to support Kaepernick