Today’s installment of Vince Young vs. Matt Leinart wasn’t quite as significant as their classic Texas vs. USC Rose Bowl battle. But it was almost as entertaining a game.
Young led the Tennessee Titans to a 20-17 win over Leinart’s Arizona Cardinals, marching Tennessee down the field on an 18-play, 99-yard drive in the final 2:37, concluding with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt as time expired.
Young was nothing short of sensational, completing 27 of 43 passes for 387 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions on the day. He was calm and poised throughout that final drive, never taking any unnecessary chances, throwing short passes underneath against the Cardinals’ prevent defense, and using his feet to keep plays alive.
Leinart, playing in place of the concussed Kurt Warner, had a decent game. But in completing 21 of 31 passes for 220 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions, he was overshadowed by Young, his fellow member of the 2006 NFL draft class.
The Titans (who also got 154 rushing yards from Chris Johnson) are now 5-0 with Young as their starting quarterback after opening the season 0-6. It’s hard to imagine a team starting 0-6 and getting to the playoffs, but the Titans are now only a game out of the final wild card spot.
At 7-4, the Cardinals are still in first place in the NFC West and still a likely playoff team. But they’re heading into December having suffered a heartbreaking loss in a great game.