In the wake of Seattle’s thrashing of St. Louis, Golden Tate diagnosed himself with an ailment that permeates work places, schools and pickup basketball games across the country.
“I kind of have little man’s syndrome,” Tate said.
It should be no surprise then that Tate’s best games have come against a St. Louis team that has provided him with plenty of fodder. Tate finished with eight catches for 129 yards, both season highs, against the same Rams team that made him a national headline earlier this season.
Tate, you may recall, became an instant GIF sensation when he taunted the Rams on “Monday Night Football” on Oct. 28. In that game, he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass down the sideline against Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, then waved to safety Rodney McLeod for the final 30 yards while holding the ball with one hand.
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He received plenty of scorn on the Internet (and a fine from the NFL) and apologized for his actions after the game.
Tate hauled in a nearly identical touchdown, 47 yards, against Jenkins on Sunday. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw a deep pass down the sideline, and Tate once again stopped slightly before going up and plucking the ball out of the air. He actually lost the ball in the light for a second, but quickly found it before racing into the end zone — without waving.
And, yes, this play also came against Jenkins, a natural provocateur who has become an on-field rival for Tate.
“(Jenkins) and I have been going at it since last week,” Tate said, “and he was begging — he was begging — for us to throw it his way. I didn’t say anything.”
While that touchdown was the highlight of Tate’s day, most of his catches actually came by way of short routes. The key was that he turned many of those short routes into bigger gains. Five of his eight catches went for first downs.
“When he gets the ball in his hands,” Wilson said, “he’s spectacular.”
Tate’s performance added an exclamation point to what has been his most productive season as a pro. He finished the season with career highs in catches (64) and yards (898). Both those statistics also led the Seahawks.
Tate’s 898 receiving yards are the most for a Seahawk since T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 911 yards in 2009.
“He’s just been a great come-through guy,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com