By Chris Lambos
’15 of 18 for 125 yards and 1 TD’….Sounds like decent numbers for Kerry Collins. But thanks to Titan’s supplemental visionary (Owner Bud Adams), these were spectacular numbers for Vince Young as he got his first start since 2008. Coincidently, the Titans earned their first victory since 2008 by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-13 in Nashville.
Adams stepped in after the historical Game 6 fiasco in New England, expressing a desire for his 3rd pick of the 2006 Draft to take over QB duties – which ultimately trumped Coach Jeff Fisher’s desire to stick with his pro-Collins game plan.
I’m not going to tell you that Vince Young is the best QB solution for this team. If you have read my blog with any consistency over the past few months, you know what I think of his prospects as a starting QB in this league. Likewise, I question a team who’s long-term vision on offense includes a 36-year-old QB. But the Titans were in desperate need of ‘fresh air’. Jeff Fisher did not want to breathe it, but Bud Adams wasn’t going to start wheeling around an oxygen tank either. At 0-6, Kerry Collins DID NOT give the Titans their best chance of victory. Yes, Collins is more efficient through the air as a rule, but when the air attack is ‘under attack’, you turn to the ground forces.
Chris Johnson rushed for a franchise record 227 yards breaking Eddie George and Billy Cannon’s record of 216. Johnson and LenDale White combined for 37 carries (Young rushed another 12 times for 30 yards). As mentioned at the top of the page, Young completed 83% of his 15 attempts and NO INTERCEPTIONS. His passes were short and he kept Tight End Bo Scaife busy as expected. His lone TD was a 6-yard toss to Nate Washington in the 2nd Quarter.
The Young switch provided a spark for the entire team. On the defensive side of the ball, I found it hard to believe that this was the same unit that allowed David Garrard to throw 27 of 37 for 323 yards and 3 TDs in Week 4 in Jacksonville. Garrard’s totals were much different at LP Field, completing 14 of 27 passes for 139 yards with no TDs and 2 interceptions. With 4 sacks in the game, The Titans D was relentless (I kept looking for Albert Haynesworth on the field).
Given the circumstances, Vince Young WAS the best QB for the job during Week 8 (and probably would have been a few weeks prior to that). But what happens here on out is anybody’s guess (even Mr. Adams).
What did we learn from this game?
1. Bud Adams appreciates the term ‘change-of-pace’.
2. So does Vince Young.
3. So do the remaining Titans.
4. So do the Titans fans.