"If we play the way we have the last few weeks, this playoff run will be short-lived," Tate said ahead of Sunday's wild-card showdown with the Dallas Cowboys, per the Detroit Free Press. "So we've got to make sure we're on our game. We've got some guys in here that know what it's like to be a champion and know what it takes to go deep into the playoffs."
"They're all really letting the young guys know how important this is," Tate said. "This isn't just the regular season anymore. The picture's way bigger. We have the personnel to go deep."
It helps that Detroit on Sunday will have the services of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who saw his one-game suspension reduced to a $70,000 fine on Tuesday. His addition to the lineup boosts a nasty Lions defense that includes linebacker DeAndre Levy and pass rusher Ziggy Ansah. The Dallas offensive line -- the NFL's best -- is in for its stiffest test of the year against a Detroit unit that ranks second in points and yardage allowed per game and first overall against the run.
That puts the onus on a Matthew Stafford-led offense that is running the ball more effectively of late but ranks 22nd in the NFL in scoring. There is little proof to suggest that Detroit can keep up with Dallas if this turns into a shootout.