During warmups, wide receiver Golden Tate had his helmet in his right hand and head turned to the right.
He was casually walking out of the end zone and talking to a teammate when he looked up and saw a punted football coming down in the Georgia Dome.
Tate took a couple quick steps forward then stuck out his left hand to stab the ball with one hand just outside of his hip.
So, when Tate stuck that same left hand out with one second remaining in the first half of the Seahawks’ 33-10 win over the Falcons in Atlanta, it’s not much of a surprise he pulled in Russell Wilson’s pass for a 6-yard touchdown.
“We went into the game thinking we wanted to take advantage of their defensive backs and we did,” Tate said. “I knew if I had jumped, he was going to push me out of bounds, so, what the heck, why not? It was a great ball, the ball was dry and a great play was made.”
A week after sitting in his corner locker in CenturyLink Field explaining the desperation he feels to make big plays, Tate made a trio of them Sunday.
His touchdown just before the end of the half on third-and-5 from the Atlanta 6-yard line put the Seahawks in front 23-3.
Tate took a screen pass in the second quarter and zoomed 46 yards. He was steps from breaking a punt return in the second half when Atlanta punter Matt Bosher shoved him out right before Tate gained the edge.
“Golden had a fantastic game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “The catches he makes in practice all the time, he made today. I was thrilled to see the officials could see that he caught it with his one hand.”
Tate leads the Seahawks in receptions and receiving yards. His six catches and 106 receiving yards Sunday were each season-high totals. He’s on pace to blow-by last season’s totals of 45 catches for 688 yards.
“It’s a special group and don’t let anyone tell you differently,” Tate said. “We have something great here and we know it.”