Data Points: Gates produces big plays

Tight end is addressed in today’s Player 2K debate, and the two players debated as the best at their profession in the 2000s — Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates — are tough to argue with. Yet, it’s the criteria that makes all the difference when judging the tight end position.

You want a good blocker. How about Matt Spaeth or Anthony Fasano? A guy who can pick up a first down? Maybe Gonzalez, or Heath Miller. But if a team needs a big play — on a regular basis — then no one has brought that to an offense like Gates.

The numbers more than bear it out. The Chargers’ tight end has averaged a half-yard more per reception than the next closest guy and a yard-and-a-half more than the great Gonzalez over his career. Even some pretty good wide receivers don’t hit Gates’ gaudy mark of 13.2 yards per catch.

Below are the active tight ends that fall in line behind Gates in this very important category …

–Elliot Harrison

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