Just an hour before the 4 PM trade deadline yesterday, Howie pulled the trigger and sent a 2019 3rd round pick to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver Golden Tate.
This move doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Doug had suggested at his press conference the day prior that if they were going to make a trade that it would most likely be for an offensive weapon. And that’s exactly what Howie went out and got.
Golden Tate is quietly one of the best play making wide outs in the game. Through eight games this season he has 44 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers already make him the second best receiver on the team statistically right behind Zach Ertz.
He also brings a play making element to the offense that Doug has desperately needed this season. Since 2016, Tate leads the league in yards after the catch with 1,528. There isn’t a receiver on the roster outside of Agholor who can make plays in the open field, and Agholor isn’t nearly as talented as Tate in that regard.
The Eagles already have two of the best possession receivers in the game with Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz, so going after someone like Tate makes sense. He’ll change the way teams have to game plan for the Eagles offense.
Tate is a versatile wide out who can lineup in both in the slot and on the outside. I’m sure Doug will find a multitude of ways to get Tate the ball. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lines up at half back on certain plays either. He has a history of playing the position at Notre Dame and we all know how thin the Eagles are at running back right now.
The only drawback to Tate’s game is that he’s not really a deep threat. He only averages 11.9 yards per catch for his career, but he makes up for his lack of deep threat ability with his open field elusiveness and YAC.
If Mike Wallace can return this season, he’ll add that deep threat to the offense and be able to stretch the field. Unfortunately, there’s no timetable for his return at this point. Since he was placed on IR he can’t technically return until week 11, but the Eagles haven’t ruled out that possibility.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh was asked about Wallace a few weeks ago and had this to say, “Hopefully Mike’s progressing and we get a chance to get him back here this season.”
If Wallace does return that would be huge for the Eagles offense.
When you compare our offense to some of the best around the league, it’s easy to see the lack of playmakers at Doug’s disposal. The Rams, Saints and Vikings all have an abundance of weapons to chose from. It was imperative that Howie added some type of weapon to the Eagles offense. Tate doesn’t boost our potency to the level of the Rams or the Saints, but he will most certainly help the Birds keep up with these teams.
Thinking that the Eagles can outscore any of the top tier offenses in the conference is wishful thinking to say the least. But what is realistic, is believing the Eagles can play ball control with these teams and keep their offenses off the field.
The Eagles have led the league in time of possession every season since Doug has come to town. They lead the league again this season, and Golden Tate will only enhance the team’s ability to control the ball.
Tate is quick off the line and can get open pretty quickly against nickel corners. If he can continue to do that, Wentz will be able to get the ball out of his hands quicker and avoid all the sacks he’s been taking. If the sacks get cut down, that means less drives will stall out and the offense will be able to hold on to the ball for even longer than they already are. And like I said before, once you get the ball into Tate’s hands anything can happen. He can turn a 5 yard dump off into a 50 yard gain.
Now that they have a play making wide out, they may have the tools to compete with some of these better teams in the NFC.
The bye week really came at the perfect time for the Eagles. They’ll be able to get Tate acclimated to the offense, and they’ll be able to get healthy at a few key positions.
At 4-4 the Eagles are right in the middle of playoff hunt. With the acquisition of Tate and the return of some key starters from injury, the Eagles will have no excuses going into the second half of the season.