SAN DIEGO — Antonio Gates showed why the San Diego Chargers think he's the best tight end in the NFL.
Gates caught three touchdown passes from Drew Brees, and the Chargers also got a scoring pass from LaDainian Tomlinson in beating one of their AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-20, on Sunday.
Gates put the game out of reach with his third touchdown, when he caught a short pass at the Kansas City 32, bulled through strong safety Sammy Knight and ran into the end zone for a 28-13 lead with 9:10 left.
"It's like L.T. They are both Supermanesque," said Brees, who threw for 324 yards. "We see it in practice every day. Game day, it gets better. I'm lucky to have those two."
Gates had 10 catches for 145 yards, both career highs, and the three touchdown catches tied his career best.
He has six touchdowns in seven games. He missed the opener while finishing his three-game suspension for missing a team-imposed deadline for ending his training camp holdout.
Gates' big day for the Chargers (4-4) came against a team that features six-time Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez.
"The guy on the other side is not too shabby," Brees said.
But Brees thinks Gates is the best tight end. "They are 1-2," the quarterback said. "He showed, or confirmed, that he is the guy."
Asked whether he's the NFL's best tight end, Gates deferred to Gonzalez.
"Tony has definitely set a high standard at tight end," Gates said. "He's been to six Pro Bowls. I have to get to six Pro Bowls to say that."
Gonzalez had seven catches for 97 yards and one score for Kansas City (4-3).
Brees completed 25 of 43 passes, with touchdown throws of 19, 20 and 35 yards to Gates. One of his passes was intercepted.
Kansas City's Priest Holmes suffered a mild concussion when hit by rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman midway through the third quarter and didn't return. Coach Dick Vermeil said Holmes would be OK.
Tomlinson gained 69 yards in 17 carries a week after being held to a career-low seven yards in a loss at Philadelphia.
Green, whose father, Jim, died late last week, was 31 of 43 for 347 yards.