Best of Seahawks: Golden Tate lives up to 'Showtime' nickname
Let's be honest: The Seattle Seahawks wide receivers don't get enough credit, especially Golden Tate.
The fourth-year star out of Notre Dame is wrapping up his best NFL season. He led the Seahawks with 64 receptions for 898 yards (both are career-highs) and 5 touchdowns this year.
Tate was also a special teams star for the Seahawks, finishing among the league leaders in several punt return categories. He also returned some kicks this year. Aside from a few returns as a rookie, this is the first time in Tate's career he was heavily leaned on as a return specialist.
They don't call him "Showtime Tate" for nothing. The guy produces highlight after highlight. I've picked out the best of the bunch from the 2013 season. Check out the list below.
Golden Tate had to face the Rams after his taunting incident earlier in the season (please reference "Buh-Bye"below). The matchup happened on December 29th at CenturyLink Field. Tate took hit after hit after hit from the Rams (who were clearly aiming to rough him up). Instead of fighting back, Tate responded with the best game of his career, catching 8 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
The Seahawks were caught in a tight game with the Rams in St. Louis on October 28th. Trailing 7-6 late in the third quarter, Tate caught a pass from Russell Wilson and took it 80 yards for the eventual game-winning touchdown (Tate's second TD of the game). On his way to the end zone, Tate waved goodbye to Rams' safety Rodney McLeod. Tate was penalized for taunting, but the Seahawks went on to beat St. Louis 14-9.
Catch of the Year
After the Falcons sent the Seahawks home in the 2012 playoffs, Seattle wanted nothing more than revenge in a rematch against Atlanta on November 10th. Golden Tate helped the Seahawks get redemption. With time winding down on the half, Tate made his best catch of the year. He snagged a pass in the corner of the end zone with one hand (and a little help from his helmet), and somehow kept both feet inbounds for a touchdown with one-second left on the clock. Tate finished the game with 6 catches for 106 yards.
The Seahawks jumped out to a scorching lead against the Colts on October 6th thanks in part to Golden Tate. The Seahawks wide receiver snagged a 10-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to give Seattle a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. It was Tate's first touchdown of the season, but the Colts rallied for a 34-28 win.
This isn't a single highlight, but it's a nod to the incredible job Golden Tate did returning punts all season. He was one of the league leaders in all return categories, returning 51 punts (2nd) for 585 yards (2nd) -- an average of 11.5 yards per return -- this year. His season long was an impressive 71-yard punt return against the Buccaneers on November 3rd, which helped Seattle rally from 21-points down to beat Tampa Bay.
Did I leave anything out? What was your favorite Golden Tate highlight this season? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.