After Golden Tate’s performance against the Cowboys on Sunday, the Seahawks have a new Golden Rule – get the ball in the hands of the third-year receiver more often.
First, there’s the name: Golden Tate. Then, there’s the game, which we finally got to see on Sunday.
Pete Carroll talked all last week about what a spark getting Tate back on the field could give the Seahawks in their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. The third-year wide receiver then made his third-year coach look not only prophetic but astute with his efforts in the 27-7 victory at CenturyLink Field.
“You can see he needs to get the ball more. He’s on fire,” Carroll said of Tate after the Seahawks had evened their record at 1-1 as they start looking to next week’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football.”
“He is so electric with the ball. We just have to find more ways to get him the ball. You get the ball in his hands and something good looks like it’s going to happen.”
Sunday, Tate didn’t even need the ball in his hands to make things happen. He had a drop-him-in-midstride block on Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee to help spring quarterback Russell Wilson for a 14-yard gain on a second-and-12 play during the Seahawks’ 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. And with the 12th Man getting a little too rambunctious as the Seahawks moved deeper in Dallas territory on their eight-play, 90-yard TD drive in the third quarter, it was Tate who emerged from the back of the huddle to calm the crowd with a couple silence-please waves of his arms.
Then there were the times the Seahawks got the ball in Tate’s hands. It was his 8-yard reception on third-and-4 that setup Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard TD run. It was his 10-yard reception that got the Seahawks rolling toward their first offensive TD. It was his 6-yard catch on third-and-3 that helped get Steven Hauschka close enough for chip shot on the first of his two field goals in the first half.
Little things that made a big difference in the Seahawks’ huge victory. Huge? Wilson’s postgame Q&A session was peppered with the adjective.
But the play that has been – and will be – discussed most was “the block.” As Lee whirled to chase Wilson when he broke from the pocket, he found Tate instead.
“I was looking at the quarterback. He was flushed out of the pocket and I was going to get him,” the 245-pound Lee said.
Until Tate got him.
“He’s an unbelievably fierce competitor, and he’s tougher than hell,” Carroll said. “He’ll show it time and time again. You’ll see it. We just have to get (the ball) in his hands more.”