Brandon Tate had his best game of the preseason last night in Indianapolis and if there was anyone still questioning if he was making the Bengals' final roster, they got their answer. Tate was targeted seven times and caught four passes for 77 yards including a 48-yard beauty from AJ McCarron. The play, during which Tate broke a tackle before being taken down by another Colts defender, led to a Mike Nugent field goal to put the Bengals up 3-0.
Tate had three punt returns on the night, the longest of which went for five yards. He also performed well at gunner. Interestingly, as I watched the Colts' broadcast of the game since I don't live in Cincinnati, the announcers mentioned how highly Tate ranked among the league in returns last year and what a consistent player he is. That's not what you typically hear from Bengals fans, many of whom aren't high on Tate, who has been with the Bengals since 2011.
Another of Tate's commendable plays Thursday night was this catch that converted a first down for the Bengals:
The three passes Tate was unable to catch on the evening all came back-to-back, starting at the end of the first quarter and leading into the second. He also played 46 percent of the offensive snaps on the evening and led all Bengals receivers on targets and receptions.
If you're not convinced Tate is making the Bengals' roster, following last night's game, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Tate will again be a valuable member of this year's team. So there you have it.