Meet Detroit’s new number one receiver. While Marvin Jones signed the big contract this off-season to help Detroit with the loss of Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate has already been here for two years and has become my favorite Detroit Lion. Sure you could argue that maybe Marvin Jones is the number one receiver or even say they both share the role, either way Golden is a main target for Matt Stafford.
What made him become my favorite player and why should he be yours? He is just an all around great guy. He is very humble and has a great personality. He loves the city of Detroit as well, wearing a “Detroit against the world” t-shirt and getting involved with the community. Watching him play against Michigan was fun to watch since he was so explosive. Then his taking those talents to Seattle and having two good years in 2012 and 2013 was nice to see. Then he became a free agent in 2014, and I was hoping, wanting Detroit to sign him to the team as they were struggling to have a solid number two option with Nate Burleson leaving the team. Thanks to a snow storm in Detroit, which held Golden Tate to stay in the facility longer than expected, a five-year deal for $31 million came up and he became a Detroit Lion.
What Has Golden Tate Done?
Since coming into Detroit, Golden has helped the offense become more alive by drawing defensive backs away from Calvin Johnson and giving Stafford another option to spread the field. Coming onto the team in 2014 he had 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns, a career best so far for Tate. He showed quickness, and the ability to make people miss and find the open hole. 2015 was a worse year for Tate as the team struggled, but he still put up good numbers getting 90 catches for 813 yards and six touchdowns.
Also in 2015 he had 30 broken tackles, second in the league behind teammate Theo Riddick. That is why he has become such a great player. He can make people miss their tackles so easily, juking defenders out and gaining an extra yard – or much more – on just one simple cut. His great speed can leave defenders diving at thin air and on simple screen passes he stands there and just quickly moves left or right and suddenly is free. Throwing deep to him is a problem as he isn’t 6’5″, but those short to medium routes are perfect for him and he can create space with his legs.
Not only can Golden break tackles and make people miss with his legs, he gives it his all and isn’t afraid to knock a player down. Tate isn’t afraid to make a block for a teammate and if he has the ball, he will truck players if needed. He also gives 100 percent on every play. Some players will fight for the extra yard in certain situations, Tate on the other hand fights to gain extra yards every time. He will try to move forward and stay alive during the play, he just doesn’t give up and that is something teammates see and thrive on.
What to Expect This Year
Golden Tate so far has seven catches for 41 yards and could end up having a big year. While he probably won’t get another 1,000 yard season, he can still have an impact with the amount of catches and touchdowns he could rack up. Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick, Anquan Boldin and Ameer Abdullah are also going to be big factors in Tate’s production this year. Those targets give Stafford more options to throw too, which means Tate could see a decrease in catches, but it could potentially mean an increase if the defense puts one on one coverage on each player instead of double teaming one player. Golden should easily get another 90 catch season, he is on pace for 112 catches and 656 yards, but it is only week one, so a long season is ahead of us.
Tate will still be that threat teams don’t want to deal with. While Detroit doesn’t have Calvin Johnson anymore, they still have a big playmaker in a different way in Golden Tate. He is still young at 28 years old too and will be 30 by the time his contract is over, meaning he could still have another good five years in him. Tate is underpaid as well; looking back at that contract now, Detroit got a steal and they know it with him. The Lions’ front office would be smart to possibly work on an extension beginning next season to keep him in Detroit longer.
Overall, this man has brought Detroit Lions fans everywhere joy in his two years so far. He has given Detroit the ability to throw the ball to somebody besides Calvin Johnson and make the offense more than one dimensional and rely on one player. Hopefully after watching this highlight clip, you too can become a fan of Golden Tate as well.