Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate has gotten off to a bit of a slow start in 2016. Slow enough to concern head coach Jim Caldwell, though? Unlikely.
“I think they study and they know who you are,” Caldwell said via the Detroit Lions. “He’s been in the League a long time. He’s the same guy that caught 99 balls for us. He’s still capable and I think you’ll still see that. It’ll take you a little while and I won’t come in and say that I pointed this out a couple weeks ago because he’s a very, very capable player. It just kind of depends. I think the last game you saw where a couple situations they doubled certain guys. They doubled Theo (Riddick) in and out, so you’re going to see different styles, different attacks and we have to adjust accordingly.”
After catching 90 passes for 813 yards and six touchdowns in 2015, Tate has just 13 catches for 94 yards through three games this season. He is yet to find the end zone. Known primarily for his ability to create yardage after the catch, Tate is averaging 7.23 yards per catch this season, down a tick from last year’s average of 9.03 yards per catch.
“Sometimes a guy’s going to get a hot hand because maybe he’s left alone, so we’ll see what happens,” said Caldwell.
As a whole, the Lions offensive unit is off to a solid start. They currently average 413.7 yards per game, good for the sixth best mark in the league. With a bit more emphasis on the run to this point in the season, the team has averaged 101 yards per game on the ground, although that isn’t a great mark, it’s better than what they were able to accomplish last season when they finished dead last in the league.
Matthew Stafford averages 312.7 passing yards per game through three contests this season, the third highest mark in the league. Although Tate has gotten off to a slow start, it seems inevitable that he will get back on track as the season continues on.