It has not been a good start for owners of Golden Tate. Not only does he have a stat line of 9 receptions on 16 targets for 54 yards, but newly-acquired Marvin Jones has been ballin’ to the tune of 12 receptions on 21 targets for 203 yards. To make matters worse, Jones was drafted 3-4 rounds later in drafts. The Jones Truthers are “Living La Vida Loca” right now and for good reason. Coming into the season, Jones and Tate were said to be 1a and 1b. After Week 2, it sure looks like Jones is the bonafide #1 now. Is he? I keep hearing about aDOT (Average Depth of Target) as one of the main reasons why Tate will be polishing Jones’ cleats but, I went back and watched the game against the Titans. My conclusion?
Seriously, after listening to that, how could everything not be good in the world?
2 receptions on 9 targets for 13 yards is an ugly line. For your sake, it’s a good thing Grey and Jay pay me thousands of dollars in digital currency to look beyond the box score. Hey guys? When are you going to be sending the encryption key so I can unlock my funds?
Here’s a breakdown of each play that involved Tate.
- Incompletion. 20-yard corner route. Stafford overthrew him.
- PENALTY – A Titans player jumped offside, so Stafford chucked it 50 yards to a streaking Tate, resulting in an interception. Since there was a penalty, it was a free play.
- Incompletion. 40-yard streak. Tate broke off the route for some reason.
- PENALTY – Incompletion. 8-yard hitch. Stafford threw it too low. Defensive holding negated the play.
- PENALTY – Incompletion. 5-yard slant in the red zone. Tate beat his man, which forced the defender to interfere.
- PENALTY – Completed wide receiver screen that went for 15 yards. Offensive holding negated the play.
- Incompletion. Another wide receiver screen. Defense was all over it so Stafford threw it into the ground.
- PENALTY – Incompletion. 14-yard in-route. Defender called for holding, negating the play.
- Incompletion. 40-yard corner route. Double coverage.
- Incompletion. 25-yard streak. Tate almost made an unbelievable one-handed catch.
- Completion. 8-yard hitch. Tate fought for the ball. Tie goes to the offense.
- Incompletion. 25-yard streak. Tate was wide open, but Stafford overthrew him.
- Incompletion. 5- yard slant. Stafford threw behind him.
Did any of you notice something amiss? The box score says Tate caught 2 passes, but I rewatched the game 3 times and scrolled through the play-by-play another three times, and I cannot, for the life of me, find that other completion. Crazy. All the Tate owner are like “Shhhhhhh. I need that extra point, man.” Anyways, the most apparent observation is the five penalties that negated a play. Did the caps lock and bolded font give it away? That’s an extra five targets that are not counted in the box score. The red zone target is also an encouraging sign, but I think the thing we should all focus on is the aDOT (Average Depth of Target). On eight official plays, Tate’s aDOT was 20.5. That’s an insane number. The average aDOT for wide receivers is 12. So, while Tate still garners a few wide receiver screens a game, he is still running streaks down the sideline for potential huge gains. It’s just a matter of time before Stafford and Tate get on the same page and start making it rain.
Jones has played and looks fantastic to start the season. He may, in fact, be the #1 receiver but Tate should not be brushed aside so lightly. It’s not like Tate is some Milli Vanilli. He is a seven-year veteran and has caught at least 90 passes a year since he’s been in Detroit. The targets are still there and will remain there for the rest of the season. The Lions will probably attempt over 600 passes this season. Even with Eric Ebron and Anquan Boldin garnering targets, Tate and Jones could both receive 120+ targets each. Now is the perfect time to buy low on Tate.
Thanks for reading. You can reach SON on Twitter @Stan_Son.