When your head coach is your former secondary coach, it's troubling when the secondary screws up major. When your team allowed the most passing yards in the NFL last season, it's troubling when the secondary screws up major. When the team retains the two people that coached that secondary, promoting one, it's troubling when the secondary screws up major. When the team hires a respected secondary coach, Tim Lewis, to replace the new head coach, Jim Mora, it's troubling when the secondary screws up major. It's troubling even if it's insignificant. It was a major screw up that laid the rails for San Diego's first scoring drive. And though it was the second team, and though Kevin Hobbs might not make the team, if there's one unit the Seahawks should have invested enough resources in to be competent top to bottom, it's the secondary. When clear incompetence is demonstrated, it's troubling.
Only three things stuck out from this drive and only one is revealing.
2. Will Herring was covering the wrong man/location before correcting to tackle Jacob Hester on the goal line. I am not too worried about Herring's awareness against the pass, so seeing him make two good open field tackles and against two reasonably tough runners, Jackson and Hester, is encouraging.
1. San Diego runs play action. Hobbs covers Michael Bennett releasing into the flat, loses that responsibility when Herring assumes it and then begins backpedaling. Philip Rivers passes it over his head, he turns and tracks, but Kris Wilson receives for 31 and strides out of bounds untouched. Hobbs looks like the one in the wrong place without a man to cover, but I'm not sure.
Norv Turner runs a lot of unbalanced formations. The above play was shifted right. Both wide receivers were set right and the backfield was in a right offset I. Only Wilson was on the left. It certainly screwed up Seattle's coverage scheme. Herring tracked Bennett and then broke back to cover Wilson. Maybe he reacted to Rivers eyes or maybe Wilson was his assignment. Wallace was doubling someone in the end zone, but after the reception that's the first direction Hobbs looked. Pass rush begets good secondary play, but good secondary play abets the pass rush. When a receiver is wide open thirty yards down the field, no pressure is enough to stop the completion.
It could have been one man's screw up, or it could have been failure by the entire secondary, but no matter the insignificance of the play, it's troubling.