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Monday, October 18, 2010
Brandon Tate contributes beyond box score


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the official NFL game book suggests New England Patriots receivers didn't do a thing Sunday to help fill Randy Moss' void.

Tate, now the Patriots' top deep threat, didn't have a catch despite Tom Brady targeting him four times in Sunday's 23-20 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

But ESPN Stats & Information noted data that indicates Tate made a substantial impact simply by being on the field. Tate doesn't have a single NFL touchdown reception yet, but the Ravens certainly paid attention to him.

When Tate lined up outside the numbers, he opened up the middle. Brady averaged 9.3 yards per attempt when Tate was split wide, completing four of seven attempts for 65 yards and three first downs. One of those plays was a Hail Mary pass at the end of regulation time and makes the numbers seem worse than they should.

When Tate lined up inside the numbers, Brady's average attempt dropped to 6.1 yards. Brady completed eight of 15 attempts for 92 yards and three first downs.

That's intense scrutiny of the numbers, but it's what ESPN Stats & Information does. And any figures pertaining to Moss' replacements are worth considering.