Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Best TE Seasons in Receiving DVOA, 1993-2010 (min. 50 passes)
Year Player Team DYAR DVOA Passes Catches Yards TD Catch
2010 Antonio Gates (Weeks 1-13) SD 374 80.1% 65 50 782 10 77%
1999 Rickey Dudley OAK 278 63.0% 59 39 555 9 66%
1997 Troy Drayton MIA 194 53.1% 50 39 558 4 78%
2008 Visanthe Shiancoe MIN 220 50.0% 59 42 596 8 71%
1995 Ken Dilger IND 208 49.1% 55 41 624 4 75%
1995 Mark Chmura GB 280 46.6% 74 54 679 7 73%
1998 Andrew Glover MIN 167 40.1% 59 35 522 5 59%
2004 Jeb Putzier DEN 160 39.6% 54 36 572 2 67%
1999 Ken Dilger IND 154 39.4% 51 40 479 2 78%
2007 Heath Miller PIT 193 38.5% 61 47 566 7 77%
Best TE Seasons in Receiving DYAR, 1993-2010
Year Player Team DYAR DVOA Passes Catches Yards TD Catch
2010 Antonio Gates (Weeks 1-13) SD 374 80.1% 65 50 782 10 77%
2009 Antonio Gates SD 358 38.4% 114 79 1,157 8 69%
2004 Tony Gonzalez KC 329 25.6% 148 102 1,258 8 69%
2004 Antonio Gates SD 325 32.5% 114 81 964 13 71%
1993 Shannon Sharpe DEN 323 35.6% 110 81 995 9 74%
2000 Tony Gonzalez KC 305 22.5% 150 93 1,203 9 62%
1995 Mark Chmura GB 280 46.6% 74 54 679 7 73%
2007 Antonio Gates SD 278 30.0% 117 75 984 9 64%
1996 Shannon Sharpe DEN 277 28.2% 117 80 1,062 10 68%
1999 Rickey Dudley OAK 278 63.0% 59 39 555 9 66%

Yes, he's that good. In fact, not only is he that good, but he's that good on one foot.


52 comments, Last at 11 Dec 2010, 2:23am

1 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Who would have guessed that the only TE in the top ten in DVOA twice is Ken Dilger?

The DVOA list is more predictable.

And I agree with the article's title. Antonio Gates is, most definitely, ridiculous.

2 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

What struck me is that the season that put Shiancoe on here was the Favre-less one.

3 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

TE coach rob chudzinski Was TE coach for shockey and winslow in college. Pretty good track record with receiving TEs

4 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

I thought I remembered that 1998 Viking team pretty well, but I didn't even recognize the name Andrew Glover.

5 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

The second most surprising thing on those lists to me is the total absence of Dallas Clark.

6 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

He had 260 DYAR last year which is pretty close to making the list.

I'm not actually that surprised. He's never been the focal point of the offense to rack up DYAR, and while he's good, he's not best TE in the league good to rack up high DVOAs.

7 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Also, I'd like to add that I think it's very cool that you run the numbers, see something like this, and just have to post it, Aaron. I like that you're still so excited to see greatness after all the years.

52 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

What was his DVOA through 5 weeks? That's when I was warming to the fact that Gates was having possibly the greatest season by any TE in history. At that point, he was on pace for 93/1530/22. The latter two marks would have SHATTERED the previous TE records. I'm not talking about just breaking the records, I'm talking about blowing them to smithereens. If you use fantasy points as a handy proxy for production (10 yards = 1 point, 1 TD = 6 points), that would have been about 30% better than the next best season by a TE.

I'm a Broncos fan, but I'm really, really sad that Gates got hurt this year, because even I would have loved to have seen just how high he could have set the bar if he'd remained perfectly healthy.

22 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

I enjoy a good Kiper joke as well as anyone, but it's really not fair to fault him (or any of the other GMs at the time) for missing a guy who never played a single down in college.

9 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

From what Will Carroll's been saying all season, Gates has been doing all this on zero feet.

21 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Early in the year he was running a lot of deep routes since VJ was out. More than normal -- especially since Naanee and Davis are better on short/mid length routes.

And he's been TRIPLE teamed more than once this season, but only early on.
His pace of attempts thrown his way per game has gone way down since the injuries got bad. I'm sure that if he was healthy his DVOA would drop with more attempts, but he would be pushing many more yards and higher DYAR.

31 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Did anyone see his TD grab against Oakland last Sunday when it looked like he was triple teamed, but the three defenders all ran into each other leaving him wide open in the back of the end zone?

41 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

It may not have dropped all that much. It seems that he may be improving with respect to the things that FO measures (which would make sense: given that he wasn't a TE in college, he'd have a lot more to learn in the NFL than pretty much any other TE).

Through his first four seasons, there was something of a drop in production as his targets and deep passes increased ... but last year, he posted his highest DVOA ever with 79 catches on 114 targets, 22% of which were deep or bomb passes. And in 2007, that figure was 29%, yet he still posted a DVOA of 30.1%.

I suspect the injuries are helping a bit (by restricting him to shorter routes, which generally means more-catchable passes), but I also feel like he's learning to be a better receiver, which is a scary thought. If that is the case, what might he do next year if his feet are healthy? (no lockout thoughts, please)

43 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

That is a scary thought.

According to pfr, the record for receiving yards by a TE is 1290 by Kellen Winslow in 1980 ( and the record for receptions by a TE is 102 by Tony Gonzalez in 2004. I have a feeling that if Gates is actually improving and can get through next season healthy he will surpass both.

12 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Finley was on pace to be equal to Gates in DYAR when you consider he put up 110 DYAR in only 4 games this year.

20 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Sure, but it's a lot easier to have a fantastic 4-game stretch than it is to have a fantastic 12-game stretch (while injured!) ... not to mention how many impressive seasons Gates has put up.

14 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Antonio Gates a very good tight end; I don't see any need to ridicule him for it.

Actually, do you calculate overall DVOA contributions for tight ends? Receiving is about 1/3 of the job. I imagine calculating blocking DVOA is pretty difficult.

51 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

I was thinking 1/3 receiving, 1/3 pass blocking, and 1/3 run blocking. Yeah that's blocking twice, but I think TEs are probably called on to block twice as often as to receive, so...

Actually analyzing blocking DVOA at any position is probably extremely difficult but quite useful. It would help answer questions about running backs as well, such as who needs good blocking to succeed and who does well despite his line, etc.

17 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

The DYAR is, indeed, remarkable. The DVOA... well, considering the list fails to include 2010 Fred Davis (61.9%, 3rd place), 2010 Jermichael Finley (58.6%, 4th place), or 2010 Rob Gronkowski (53.9%, 5th place), I tend to think that number may come back down to earth a bit. Either that, or 2010 is the year of the Tight End.

23 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Gates 80.1% DVOA leads all skill positions as well. The guy who has the best chance of catching him? Danny Woodhead, with a 73.7% receiving DVOA. Woodhead lacks enough carries for his 42.5% rushing DVOA to lead the leader board, but his 128 rushing DYAR ranks 10th amongst running backs (you really should consider a DYAR cutoff for the leader board as an additional way to qualify. Woodhead's combined DYAR is 294 is pretty impressive as well -- and it'd be great if there were a combined DYAR report for running backs at least...

24 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

So is this why Rivers is amazing this season, or is it because Rivers is amazing this season?

26 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Ahhh..Rickey Dudley. I don't watch college much, but I don't think I've ever been more wrong about a player than him. I was so happy when the Raiders drafted him. I thought he was basically going to be a better blocking version of Antonio Gates before Gates existed and would revolutionise the Tight End position. Nope. He had one great season with limited targets and that was pretty much it.

27 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Jeb Putzier... that surprises me. I was a Broncos fan back then and even then he seemed like an afterthought.

40 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

It is because he was an afterthought that he made the DVOA list. Some guys are great players and it shows up in their DVOA, some guys play alongside great players and find themselves open down the seam on a play action pass.

28 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

His Wiki said that 19 teams offered him a tryout so he was on the radar.

My question is what sort of basketball player would he have been?


29 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

The "fat and short" sort of basketball player.

He's heavier than Duncan, Garnett,Bosh, Stoudemire, Gasol, Odom and Nowitzki, only they're all 6'10-7'0.

Antonio Gates is 6'4. That's... Dwayne Wade. Only Dwayne Wade is faster than a bloody cheetah.

38 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

What's crazy is that even elite TE's often don't put up anywhere close to this level. Look through the player stats pages for some of the years not listed in the table many years of the DVOA era, the top TEs in the league (including Gates) put up 15-20% DVOA and 150-200 DYAR.

45 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

Yeah. Elite 8 basketball team at kent state. Averaging 20/10 or better. I think he probably could have become a Charles barkley type. If you have watched any Charger games, dude could direct a clinic in how to block people out.

49 Re: Antonio Gates is Ridiculous

No, Devin Hester is ridiculous.

Antonio Gates is a Man-Beast among boys.

- Alvaro