SAN DIEGO -- He’s back.
“He looked good to me,” Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “He looked like the same Antonio Gates. Our guys in our personnel breakdown Tuesday as a staff, that’s exactly what was said in the meeting. He looks very good.”
In 42 plays against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, Gates was targeted a game-high 11 times, finishing with nine receptions for 92 yards and two scores. Gates appeared to have fresh legs after the time off.
“I never had any expectations in terms of what I was going to do going into the game,” Gates said. “All I wanted to do was contribute, and I was able to do as much as I could when the opportunities presented themselves.”
Even better, the Chargers used both Gates and Ladarius Green together. Green played in 48 snaps. The Chargers ran two-tight end sets 20 times, or 27 percent of the offensive snaps.
Green finished with five catches for 50 yards on five targets
Heading into the game, the Chargers had run three-receiver sets over 82 percent of the time through four games.
So having Gates back gives San Diego more options in terms of personnel on offense, and more playmakers on the field when Green and Gates are out there together in two-tight-end sets.
OFFENSE (Based on 75 offensive snaps)
Quarterback -- Philip Rivers 75
Offensive analysis -- Gordon’s appeared in a season-high 46 plays against the Pittsburgh. He touched the ball on 22 of those 46 plays, or 48 percent of the time. Gordon’s 141 yards after contact is tied for 12th in the NFL. ... The Chargers are No. 3 in the NFL in total offense (410 yards per game), but No. 16 in the NFL in scoring (23.2 points per game). …Rivers finished 5 of 12 for 44 yards on third down, with no touchdowns an interception returned for a score. He posted a 17.4 passer rating on third down. ... The Chargers are tied for third-worst in the NFL with 10 turnovers.
DEFENSE (Based on 57 defensive snaps)
Defensive analysis -- Per ESPN Stats & Information, Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell had 11 rushes for a career-high 80 yards when the Chargers had at least eight defenders in the box, including the game-winning touchdown on the last play of the game. Bell had 71 yards before contact on 21 rushes Monday, including 50 against eight or more defenders in the box. Coming into the game, the Chargers had allowed 3.1 yards before contact per rush, third most in the NFL. ... When he left the pocket in the fourth quarter Monday, Mike Vick produced 111 total yards and a touchdown. On throws from inside the pocket in the fourth quarter, Vick was 3-of-8 for 29 yards.