New Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay knows all too well how lethal New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate is with the football in his hands. The 3x-Pro Bowl defender enjoyed a front-row ticket to Tate’s yards after catch abilities (YAC) on a daily basis over a five-year run as fellow teammates with the Detroit Lions from 2014 through 2018.
Hence why Slay appeared the least surprised to peep Tate’s name atop Pro Football Focus’ latest tweet ranking the “Most YAC by a WR” over the past five seasons. Instead, Slay focused his efforts on doling out some much-warranted respect in the direction of the wildly underrated veteran pass-catcher, anointing Tate the NFL’s “Yac king.”
Tate Gets ‘No Love’
Tate’s placement in the hierarchy of NFL playmakers is well-recognized amongst fellow NFL players. Making outrageous plays like the one shown below, on a nearly routine basis, will certainly due that for a player.
However, while Slay and fellow NFL defensive backs such as Harrison Smith (shown above) are well-educated on Tate’s running back-like skills, the wideout’s name rarely gets mentioned amongst the league’s prominent playmakers. In fact, some have even gone to the extent of deeming the Giants better off without Tate on their roster.
Tate’s clearly caught wind of the disrespect placed on him throughout what has been a highly-productive 10-year career for the former Notre Dame product, responding to Slay’s Tweet, noting the lack of “love” he receives for his elite skills after the catch.
Tate isn’t lying, as demonstrated from yet another eye-popping accomplishment of his, which we previously covered back in May. Not only does the wideout top all fellow NFL pass-catchers in YAC, but he’s also obliterated the competition in forced missed tackles, lapping the field in the statistic since entering the league in 2010.
According to Pro Football Focus, since the 2010 season, Tate leads all wide receivers in forced missed tackles, and it’s not even close. Tate’s 183 forced missed tackles over that span outpaces the next name on the list by a whopping 75.
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Tate & Slay Ready to Rekindle Their Friendly Rivalry
It may not be a daily occurrence as it once was on the Lions practice field, but Tate and Slay are ready to butt heads twice a year as NFC East foes. Slay, the formerly disgruntled All-Pro corner from the Motor City, was dealt to the Eagles earlier this offseason in exchange for multiple draft picks.
While the Lions may have not collected many wins over Slay and Tate’s run in Detroit, the latter did enjoy some of his most prolific seasons to date catching passes from quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Tate topped the 1,000-yard mark barrier three out of the four full seasons he played in Detroit (was traded to the Eagles during the 2018 trade deadline). He also never failed to haul in fewer than 90 receptions in a single season over that period.
Tate had never previously, nor since, recorded a 1,000-yard receiving season. Yet that’s not to say he hasn’t been productive. The Giants receiver scored six touchdowns in his debut campaign in New York. Those six touchdowns rank as Tate’s second-highest season output in his career, despite appearing in just 11 games a season ago.