Young again, Titans rolling since change
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On rubbery legs, Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher summed up what everyone just saw.
"You guys don't mind if I sit down and do this do you? OK. WOW! What a great finish!" Fisher said as he slumped behind the podium. "We've had some finishes around here, but I can't remember one like that. Just a tremendous finish."
Vince Young outdueled Matt Leinart again with yet another spectacular winning drive. He hit a leaping Kenny Britt for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired, and the Titans rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 20-17, yesterday for their fifth consecutive victory.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt compared the disappointment to losing the Super Bowl in February.
"It's as close to that as possible because we knew today that it would be difficult against this team, and our team rallied and pulled together. When you're six seconds away from winning it, it makes it even tougher," Whisenhunt said.
Young won his ninth consecutive start and improved to 23-11 in his career by driving the Titans 99 yards on 18 plays in the final 2:37. He converted three fourth downs on the drive, two to Britt.
He threw for a career-high 387 yards in beating Leinart in their first meeting as professionals and first overall since the BCS national championship in January 2006.
Asked if this felt like that BCS game, Young said it did -- a little. "We're in the NFL now. ... As the Tennessee Titans, I feel we fought to the finish," Young said.
The Titans (5-6) have not lost since Young replaced Kerry Collins as the starter. They are the first team to win five in a row after starting 0-6.
Just as Young had the ball last in that memorable Rose Bowl game for Texas against Southern California, he won this one in style. Arizona receiver Steve Breaston, who lost to Young while at Michigan, walked over to Leinart on the sideline early in the drive and called it deja vu.
"I thought Vince played great," Leinart said. "He made plays in that last series, so hats off to him. I thought our defense played phenomenally, he just made some plays."
"Once you see Vince scramble around, you never know if he's going to run it or throw it," Britt said. "You just have to stay alive, and that's what I did."
Titans fullback Ahmard Hall played with Young in that national title game and told coaches on the sideline his friend would deliver again. "He just has a knack for the spotlight," Hall said.
• Chargers 43, Chiefs 14: San Diego turned four turnovers into touchdowns, including a 40-yard fumble return for a score by safety Paul Oliver, to beat visiting Kansas City and run its winning streak to six games. LaDainian Tomlinson scored two touchdowns and moved into 10th on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Antonio Gates as the Chargers improved to 8-3.
• Falcons 20, Buccaneers 17: Chris Redman threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Roddy White with 23 seconds remaining, as Atlanta pulled out a victory against visiting Tampa Bay after losing offensive stars Matt Ryan and Michael Turner to injuries. Redman, who took over after Ryan injured his right big toe on Atlanta's first series, calmly directed a 59-yard drive that may have saved the season.
• Bills 31, Dolphins 14: A long field goal by Rian Lindell and a long touchdown catch by Terrell Owens in the final minutes propelled host Buffalo past Miami. The win was the first for interim coach Perry Fewell, who replaced the fired Dick Jauron two games ago. Lindell's career-best 56-yard field goal with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter put the Bills (4-7) ahead for the first time at 17-14.
• Seahawks 27, Rams 17: Justin Forsett set career highs with 130 yards and two touchdowns and the go-ahead score came on Seattle's third defensive touchdown of the season. Seattle (4-7) had been 0-5 on the road but ended the drought against the Rams (1-10), who have lost 11 in a row at home. Olindo Mare added field goals of 29 and 38 yards, tying the franchise record of 16 in a row shared by Rams kicker Josh Brown. The Falcons lost Turner in the third quarter when he apparently reinjured his right ankle.
• Jets 17, Panthers 6: Darrelle Revis got New York's defense in the end zone for the first time this season when he returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown against visiting Carolina. Thomas Jones had a 3-yard touchdown run as the Jets (5-6) won at home for the first time since beating Tennessee in Week 3.
First Published November 30, 2009 12:00 am