The drive ended on a 10-yard touchdown to Braylon Edwards against Dennard, who was called for a questionable pass interference penalty.
“I messed up on my technique as well,” Dennard said. “I think I could have played it better than I did. Should have turned into him instead of turning away from him. That was my mistake.”
Then there was the final blow: the 46-yard touchdown pass to Rice where rookie Tavon Wilson was left spinning like a top.
“It’s Cover 2, simple Cover 2,” Wilson said of the coverage where he and Ebner split the deep part of the field. “I just have to go make the play. They made the play when they needed to make it and I didn’t. He just ran the route and I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and he converted on the play and I didn’t.”
It was a play that perfectly encapsulated the ineptitude in the secondary: the coaching, the personnel, and the execution.
First of all, the defensive play call by Patricia should be questioned.
The Seahawks had first and 10 at the Patriots’ 46 with 1:27 to play. Why were the Patriots playing with their base personnel, including three linebackers, and just four defensive backs? The Seahawks needed to score a touchdown, and running back Marshawn Lynch wasn’t going to score from there. They had to pass, so why not have more coverage players on the field?
Secondly, why did the Patriots fall for the play-action fake? They should be encouraging the Seahawks to run there.
And then there was the execution. Why hasn’t Wilson been coached better to know he should never get beat over the top in that situation?
I actually think the Patriots have good players in the secondary and stand to improve. But there’s reason to doubt they will. Just look at the track record. Why does it seem like players always regress in the Patriots’ secondary?
The list goes on and on: Brandon Meriweather, Terrence Wheatley, Darius Butler, Leigh Bodden, Chung, McCourty, and Ras-I Dowling.
Where’s the ascension? Where’s the excellence? OK, how about we settle for a turn of the head and making a play on the ball when the receiver reacts to the ball being in the air?
There is much to be disappointed about with the Patriots, especially in the secondary. Without a Giants-like pass rush, the Patriots are going to have to cover better in the back end to win games.
It’s going to have to start with the coaching. The players are who they are. Belichick, Patricia, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer, and safeties coach Brian Flores must do a better job.
What we saw on Sunday wasn’t good enough.
And it hasn’t been for a while.
Enough is enough.
“We have to make more plays or it will keep being like this,” McCourty said.
Again, he summed it up perfectly.