Situation: The Seahawks, trailing, 23-17, with 1:27 left and one timeout, have first and 10 at the New England 46-yard line.
What happened: The Patriots decided to match the Seahawks’ two-back, tight end, and two-receiver personnel with their base defense, despite the game situation. The Patriots played Cover 2; two safeties split the deep part of the field, while the cornerbacks let the receivers release and played zone on the intermediate sideline routes. The Patriots’ entire front seven fell for the run fake from quarterback Russell Wilson (3), while the Seahawks sent just two receivers, Golden Tate (81) and Sidney Rice (18) on routes. Instead of staying square to the quarterback with one eye Rice and in his backpedal, safety Tavon Wilson (27) drove on a corner fake by Rice and was beaten easily when Rice turned it into a post pattern. Wilson should have invited the sideline throw — it’s more difficult to complete, and Devin McCourty (32) can provide help — and protected the weak middle in that coverage.