NFL Highlights of Week 2 Dominated by Tight Ends (2017)


Los Angeles Chargers‘ future NFL Hall of Famer Antonio Gates continues to re-write the football record books. In the third quarter of the Chargers matchup against the Miami Dolphins, Gates caught the 112th touchdown reception of his career. Gates’ TD reception broke the record for tight ends previously been held by Kansas City Chiefs great Tony Gonzalez. It’s a shame Gates has never played in the Super Bowl. He is an elite-level pass catcher. Accordingly, his record-setting catch tops our NFL highlights of Week 2 of the 2017 season. Beginning in San Diego, Gates has transformed himself into one of the best tight ends in NFL history. The ex-college basketball player at Kent State went undrafted and signed as a free agent with the Chargers in 2003.

The Modern NFL Tight End

Tight ends were considered simply an additional run blocker at the end of the offensive line during the early days of the National Football League/ The modern-day tight end was truly born in the 1961 draft when the Chicago Bears drafted Mike Ditka with the fifth overall pick. Bears Head Coach George Halas utilized Ditka in the passing game, even lining up the tight end as a wide receiver. Extremely innovative for the era.

On the whole, Kellen Winslow revolutionized the tight end position for the San Diego Chargers in the 1980s. Bleacher Report wrote, “Kellen Winslow, at 6’5” and 250 pounds, can be credited for creating the new prototype of the athlete of tight end. His iconic performance in the 1982 playoff game against Miami is the signature moment of his Hall of Fame career.”

San Diego Union-Tribune |  Kellen Winslow (80) is helped off the field by teammates in the Chargers’ memorable playoff defeat of the Miami Dolphins in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2, 1982. Photo by BOB IVINS

The impact of Winslow inspired the next generation of tight ends. From Winslow came players like Shannon Sharpe and Tony Gonzalez. Now the modern-day NFL is chock full of hybrid tight ends with speed, power, and great hands. For instance, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, and Travis Kelce mirror the abilities of Antonio Gates. Coincidentally, Kelce has our number two 2017 NFL highlight of the week with his ‘Super’ leap into the end zone.

In Conclusion

Once again congratulations to Antonio Gates on his record-breaking career. We look forward to seeing your bust in Canton, Ohio. Thanks to the NFL and the Chargers for posting the highlights of Week 2 of the 2017 season.