Detroit Lions Jerseys Golden Tate has always considered himself a No. 1 receiver. He prepared like it when the Detroit Lions had Calvin Johnson on the roster and has acted like it throughout this season, when the franchise didn’t have a clear top guy.
But on Sunday, Tate had a rare opportunity. With Marvin Jones sidelined with a thigh injury, Tate was the guy. He was the obvious No. 1 target for quarterback Matthew Stafford and played like it in the Lions’ 28-13 win over New Orleans.
This is what the Lions always hope to get from Tate, a bunch of quick completions he turns into bigger gains with a couple of bigger shots sprinkled in — plays that might have gone to Jones in the past. But with Jones out, those were Tate’s, and he made them count every time.
He thrived in the No. 1 receiver role, Cheap nfl Jerseys helping the Lions look as efficient as they have since the first week of the season, when they seemed to move the ball freely against Indianapolis. In Week 1, Detroit spread the ball around. And while the Lions did that somewhat Sunday, Tate was the clear top option.
It’s a role he might keep the rest of the season. Tate seems to be growing into the role, especially as more attention has been paid to Jones and his numbers have dipped. This was the third time in his past four games he had at least 75 yards receiving and the seventh time in the past nine games he’s done that.
“I try not to think about the numbers, man,” Tate told ESPN after the game. “I just try to show up and do my job and prove my worth every single day. I try not to worry about the numbers and I think that’s what got me in some trouble a little bit earlier in the season. I was worrying about the wrong things versus just going out there helping this team win games and making plays when I had the opportunity.
“I try not to think of it that way.”
Even more so, Tate has been at his best in Detroit when the Lions have needed him the most because of injuries to others. In 2014, Tate’s first season with the Lions, Johnson missed three games with an ankle injury. In two of them, Tate had back-to-back 150-yard games to lead the Lions to close wins over the Saints and Falcons.
Then came Sunday. Jones was out, and Detroit’s receiving corps needed a boost from its shifty, tough-to-tackle receiver to pick up a critical road win.
On Sunday, Stafford threw to Tate 10 times, and he caught eight passes for 145 yards — the fourth-best yardage output of his career, including a 66-yard touchdown reception from Stafford in the fourth quarter that gave Detroit a 25-13 lead. That catch put the Lions in an unfamiliar position this season: leading throughout an entire game.
Detroit, in many ways, needed to see this Cheap jersey wholesale type of performance from one of its receivers this late in the season. While the Lions have done well spreading the ball to several pass-catchers throughout their successful first three quarters of the season, they could use a target to count on down the stretch.
And that option might just be Tate. No matter how anyone else viewed him in the past, he always wanted to be looked at as a No. 1 receiver. Against the Saints, he played like it, too.