Motivated Gates seals Chargers' win over Cowboys

Posted Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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San Diego tight end Antonio Gates doesn’t need any additional motivation coming into the game against the Dallas Cowboys.

When he sees another tight end with Hall of Fame credentials standing along the other sideline — such as the Cowboys’ Jason Witten — Gates finds a little something extra anyway.

“Every time I look up, there’s a tight end trying to show what he’s got when he comes into town,” Gates said. “I always want to prove, with all due respect to everybody that’s playing, that I’m still one of the best.”

Gates proved himself Sunday with a game-high 10 receptions for 136 yards and one clinching touchdown in the Chargers’ 30-21 win.

The Cowboys have been on the field for two of quarterback Philip Rivers’ milestone TD passes — his 100th in 2009 and his 200th on Sunday. Both passes went to Gates.

On the opening possession of the third quarter, Rivers went to Gates on three consecutive plays — for 7, 5 and 26 yards. That drive ended with a touchdown that moved San Diego within one point of the Cowboys, 21-20.

In the fourth quarter, Gates caught a 56-yard touchdown that all but sealed San Diego’s win.

“At the end of the day, it’s just competition,” Gates said. “It’s about me trying to help us win football games.”

The closer

Both of the Chargers’ losses this season have come after surrendering leads in the final seconds. So was there a here-we-go-again feeling when Dallas was driving in the fourth quarter?

“We definitely emphasize finishing,” said quarterback Philip Rivers, who passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns. “So when you have some opportunities to do that, you somehow build confidence.”

Whittaker waived

San Diego waived former Texas running back Fozzy Whittaker on Saturday.

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