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— Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate is a big fan of video games. So much so that he had to be pulled away from "Call of Duty" Tuesday night when he battled Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears in the "Game Before the Game."

Playing as their respective teams, Tate and Jeffery versed each other on Madden NFL 15 on Xbox One while doing a little trash talking via Skype. Tate was at the Microsoft store at Somerset Mall, while Jeffery was at a Microsoft store in Chicago.

"It's harder to do this, (than play real football)," said Tate, while he methodically picked out plays.

The pre-Thanksgiving showdown was a way for the team from Xbox to showcase one of its latest installments of the popular football game. Although the Xbox team wants to wait until Monday to broadcast the results, the pace closely mirrored recent Lions games.

At one point, Tate had the fictional Matthew Stafford throw deep to star receiver Calvin Johnson, but it was intercepted by Jeffery's players.

"Be realistic," Tate told him. "You're not beating Calvin Johnson one-on-one."

Next Thursday, Tate will play in his first ever Thanksgiving game when the Lions and Bears meet at Ford Field at 12:30 p.m.

The Lions lost a tough game to the Arizona Cardinals 14-6 last Sunday and play the New England Patriots on the road this Sunday at 1 p.m.

Tate had just two targets in the loss to the Cardinals, something he said added to a frustrating game.

"The progression didn't dictate the ball coming my way," he said. "The fact we lost is harder because I could have impacted the game more."

He also provided some insight into the locker room camraderie that comes when they play video games together.

"We play a lot of FIFA," Tate said "Especially in London, all we had was time. The coaches brought in a couple Xboxes and we played a lot."

lrazzaq@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2127

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