Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. Filling in today is Will Brinson. Follow him on Twitter @willbrinson.
Sergio Brown, DB, Colts
Last week, Blaine Gabbert worked his way onto the ignominious list we present here every week. In Week 3, he helped get someone here: Sergio Brown, the Colts defensive back who gave up the final touchdown to Cecil Shorts that ultimately gave Jacksonville the victory.
Brown was on the field for just seven snaps and he was targeted just once on Sunday, but boy was that one target a big one: an 80-yard touchdown to Shorts that would decide the game. The Jaguars had the inside receivers in a four-receiver, shotgun formation run short out routes. The two outside receivers ran deeper slants.
Brown switched coverage to handle Shorts as the receivers broke off on their routes. Except one problem: he did a terrible job of covering the Jaguars wideout. When Shorts broke, Brown got mixed up on his route, and played it too shallow while also getting turned around.
To compound matters, once Brown missed on the coverage of Shorts, allowing him to break wide open into the secondary and take off for the end zone, he put his head down and slapped himself on the helmet with both hands. It was a pretty GIFable moment.
Chuck Pagano's unlikely to find the moment quite as amusing, especially since Brown's effectively took himself out of the play by giving Shorts more room after the break and ultimately cost the Colts a chance at being 2-1.
Dominic Raiola/Shaun Hill, C/QB, Lions
Jim Schwartz is taking a pile of heat for the decision to attempt a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-one in overtime against the Titans. The reality is it wasn't a bad decision, as getting a first down probably would've related to the Lions getting a touchdown and the Lions winning the game.
But the procedure of the play was the problem. First up, the playcall. Utilizing a backup quarterback to sneak behind a weaker offensive line when the running backs are averaging just a shade under four yards a carry over the course of the game doesn't make much sense. Additionally, the Lions have Calvin Johnson. Throw a fade that the Titans aren't expecting and/or can't stop.
Making things worse, though, was the apparent miscommunication between Schwartz, Shaun Hill and center Dominic Raiola.
"That was miscommunication," Schwartz said via MLive.com. "We were going to try and draw them offsides, and the crowd was loud. If they didn't jump, we were going to take the timeout, and the ball ended up getting snapped."
Ouch. Schwartz didn't want to point fingers, but the two guys most responsible for the ball being snapped, Hill and Raiola, directly and indirectly took the blame.
"I'll take full responsibility for that," Hill said. "Miscommunication. It's up to the quarterback to get all 11 on the same page, for sure."
Raiola decided not to speak with the media, which kind of implies he feels bad about the role he played in the end of the game. Looking back on the replays, it becomes pretty clear that no one was expecting what actually happened. Note that you can't actually see Hill, as he's already trying to pick up a yard here:
For starters, the offensive line is barely aware they're supposed to be blocking. Secondly, look at Mikel LeShoure and the three wideouts -- they haven't thought about moving. And, um, seriously: Megatron's gonna get five-plus yards from a defensive back there? Snap the ball and throw it right at him!
Never the less, Hill and Raiola clearly weren't on the same page as the rest of the team. It provided an anti-climatic ending to one of the craziest games you'll ever see and it sent the Lions into the basement of the NFC North at 1-2.
Dan Carpenter, K, Dolphins
Miami outplayed the Jets for the majority of the game on Sunday. But the defense caved late, allowing Mark Sanchez to move down the field and hit Jeremy Kurley for a touchdown. Carpenter was instrumental in getting the Dolphins to overtime, by hitting a 41-yard field goal with about 20 seconds remaining.
But it was a pair of makeable misses from Carpenter that sent the Fins from a first-place tie in the AFC East to a tie for last. On fourth-and-10 from the Jets 29 with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter, Carpenter hooked a 47-yard attempt to the left, giving the Jets the ball back and only facing a 17-13 deficit, instead of needing a full touchdown to tie the game.
The Jets would score the touchdown anyway, and Carpenter would ultimately hit a field goal to force overtime with 20 seconds remaining in the game.
But he came up on the losing end of a shot to redeem himself in overtime after the Dolphins forced a stop of the Jets. New York got pressure on the kick, but it was a Carpenter miss, again to the left, that gave the Jets the ball back with good field position. They'd march across midfield, gave Nick Folk a shot at winning the game.
Yes, Joe Philbin iced a blocked kick, but there's no need to pin that on him. If Carpenter had hit either of his two makes, the Dolphins are sitting in first place right now.
Devin McCourty, CB, Patriots
The revamped Patriots defense was supposed to prevent stuff like Joe Flacco storming back from a nine-point deficit with less than eight minutes remaining. That wasn't the case on Sunday night, when Flacco engineered two long drives to put up 10 points and give the Ravens a stunning victory.
On the day, Devin McCourty was, per Pro Football Focus, targeted 12 times and gave up six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. And many of those yards and receptions came on the final pair of drives.
Their numbers were nearly worse, too, since McCourty doesn't deserve credit for anything defensive-related on a non-catch that McCourty turned into a big play when Jacoby Jones drew a defensive PI call after McCourty went WWE on him in mid-air.
Bill Belichick can get as angry as he wants about the way the referees managed the game, but the reality is that McCourty got torched here and when he tried to cover his tracks by tackling Jones in mid-air, it set the Ravens up for a game-winning field goal from Justin Tucker.
“You have to make plays, plain and simple," McCourty said. “There were more plays, not just on the last drive, all throughout the game that I can make and my team can make. And it's simple, I have to make those plays."
Those plays also include some miserable tackling on a Dennis Pitta touchdown in the second quarter as well as a pair of dropped balls that should've easily been intercepted and bad coverage on another pass to Jones on the final drive.
McCourty's played pretty well this season as a whole, but on Sunday night he looked like the guy who regressed badly in 2011. That's not a good sign for Belichick's supposedly rejuvenated defense.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Could we put a large part of the Saints third loss, a bad one to the Chiefs, on the defense (again)? Sure we could. The Saint took a 24-6 lead, looked locked in for a victory ... and then coughed up a 91-yard touchdown run to Jamaal Charles with the guy going literally untouched during the entire play.
But take a look at the five drives, not counting the end of regulation kneel-down from Brees, following Charles ripping off that run: interception, three-and-out, three-and-out, safety (!), three-and-out.
In other words, once the Saints got out to an 18-point, second-half lead at home, they scored more points on offense for the Chiefs than they did for themselves. Kansas City kept coming up with long drives that ended in a field goal. The defense couldn't stop them, although they did limit them.
The pick itself was indefensible. Brees had had just gotten the Saints into the Chiefs territory with a long throw to Lance Moore, there was 2:45 left in the third quarter and on a second-and-seven, he took a shot to Devery Henderson. He badly (like, really badly) underthrew the ball and Stanford Routt picked it easily. Any points from the Saints there and it's a lot less likely they even have to worry about overtime.
But it gets worse. After that, Brees didn't even complete a pass for the rest of the day, and the Saints weren't able to pick up a first down on offense.
"We left our defense out there entirely too long," Brees said. "We've got to find a way to get ourselves out of that hole, get a few first downs, move the football and create some opportunities. All I can say is we didn't get the job done and shame on us."
When a bad defense isn't getting any rest, it's easy for a bad offense to wear it down. The Chiefs didn't even do anything complex other than hand Charles the ball and keep Matt Cassel from making a critical error.
It's crazy to think of a Brees-led Saints team not stepping on someone's throat, but that's what happened on Sunday against the Chiefs. And while there are too many layers of interim-ness to really warm anyone's seat in New Orleans, the Saints struggles continue to point towards just how important Sean Payton really was for this franchise.
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