By David Krueger Herald Writer
SEATTLE — For the second time this season, Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had a big game against the St. Louis Rams.
However in Sunday’s contest, he didn’t add an egregious penalty to his stats.
Tate had eight receptions and 129 yards — both career highs — and a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 27-9 win over St. Louis in their regular-season finale.
“It’s an awesome feeling. It’s a great feeling to feel like you really helped in this game,” Tate said. “I’m thankful that God blessed me with the talent to do the things I’m able to do. I was talking about it last week if I can go all the way back to 2010 and done it any different I would have done it exactly the same way. Go in the late second round and come here. … Here we are four years later. NFC West champs. Home field advantage. 15-1 in the last two years at CenturyLink with the bye coming up. Here we go.”
Tate scored two in the teams’ first meeting — with a rather infamous taunt on the second score. On that play he out-jumped Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins to catch the ball on an 80-yard touchdown pass.
Sunday afternoon Tate again picked on Jenkins with a 47-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter that padded the Seahawks’ lead.
“I made a play and he didn’t make the tackle,” Tate said. “I found a way to get in that end zone and that helped secure the win and here we are. NFC West champs.”
Tate said the Rams’ players were chatty on the field, and that Jenkins even told Tate to get the ball thrown his way.
The fourth-year receiver complied, and got his fourth touchdown of the season on a similar to play to one in St. Louis.
“It was the same route, different combination a little bit,” Tate said. “(Jenkins) and I had been going at it since last week, and he was begging, he was begging this week, ‘Throw this way. Throw this way.’ And I didn’t say anything. I’m just smiling, hanging out with him.
“Then we throw it deep after great protection, great throw — I lost it in the light for a bit then found it — and just made a play.”
The game featured numerous unnecessary roughness penalties and one taunting foul on St. Louis. Tate, who got a well-known taunting foul in the Oct. 28 game when he waved at Rams defenders while running to the end zone, kept his composure this time around.
“I don’t have a problem with keeping control. I understand, I have little-man syndrome so I talk a lot,” Tate said. “A lot of people try to punk me. But they were hitting me, they were smacking me. They put me on my tail a few times early in the game. I’d get back up, get back in the play and wait for my chance to make a play. Thankfully, I made a couple to help us win this week.”
Tate, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate this week, could have had another touchdown in the second quarter if not for a holding penalty on tackle Russell Okung that negated a 7-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson.
“He played a great football game today,” Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll said of Tate. “I think it was one of his best games statistically. I think he had eight catches and a bunch of yards. It was really an exciting day for us to see him come up like that and play so well.”