Matthew Stafford threw him a quick route on the right side and Tate had the ball in space with a man to juke out of the way. He did and it was like so many of the other plays Tate made Sunday afternoon against the Jets.
A quick pass to Tate and then let him work, picking up yards upon yards after the catch. With Calvin Johnson hobbled with an ankle injury, it was up to Tate to become the Detroit Lions' No. 1 receiver in their 24-17 win over the New York Jets. Stafford targeted him 10 times and he caught eight of those passes for 116 yards, his fourth career 100-yard game.
It was a reminder that even when Johnson is not fully healthy, the Lions have another player who can play like a top receiver. And that second option has the elusiveness to turn those small plays into massive ones.
"That's huge," Johnson said. "Matt [Stafford] and myself talked about that after the game. That was big-time what Golden did today. That's what we brought him here for."
Consider this, too. For the first time in Johnson's career, the Lions have won a game when he was held to fewer than 20 yards receiving. Until Sunday, Detroit had been 0-6 in those games.
The one Tate play that stood out, though, was the quick hit and then his dash to the end zone that came up a couple yards short. The play helped seal the game for the Lions. It was part of a 90-yard drive that took momentum from New York and gave it back to Detroit.
"That says a lot about any team who can drive 90 yards late in the game like that," Tate said."It was a pretty warm day out there on the road, so it says a lot about us to go 90 and score right there. We were just clicking. We got in a rhythm and moved the ball."
Part of Tate's effectiveness Sunday came because of the Jets' decision to run zone. When Tate lined up in the slot, this sometimes left a linebacker with the task of dealing with Tate. Of course, he was doing more than that. Anything the Jets threw at Tate on Sunday, he was able to squirt out of.
"He beat two men. He beat loaded coverages," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "He beat a lot of different things. The game plan was to stop Calvin Johnson. That was the No. 1 priority.
"We recognize Golden Tate is a good football player."
Tate was reliable, too. Entering Sunday, he had nine third down catches on 11 targets for 122 yards. On Sunday, he had two more third down catches -- two of the six third downs the Lions converted -- for 46 yards, including a 35-yard catch-and-run on the Lions' first drive that led to a field goal.
It is those little things Tate is able to do that makes him so dangerous for the Lions as the second option behind Johnson.
"He has great hands," Lions running back Reggie Bush said. "You guys saw it today. He's a huge playmaker for us. We've seen that throughout the season and you've seen that throughout his career.
"I'm glad he's on our team. That guy is a big spark for us."