The rookie first-round draft pick has the Tennessee Titans
(8-7), who started the season with five straight losses, alive in
the AFC playoff race entering the final weekend after rallying them
to a 30-29 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The doubters have motivated Young all season long.
"That's all you heard all season, that a rookie's not going to
be able to do this and that," Young said. "And I took that as,
`Hey, let's show the world that you can do that."
Young threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another to
engineer his fourth comeback in the fourth quarter or overtime.
This time, he helped Tennessee overcome a 29-20 deficit in the
final 12 minutes. After hitting Brandon Jones for a 29-yard
touchdown pass, Young engineered a 14-play, 75-yard drive, which
Rob Bironas capped with a 30-yard field goal with 2:10 left.
Young's most electrifying play came at the end of the first
half, when he scored on a 36-yard keeper on a fourth-and-2.
The loss knocked the Bills out of playoff contention, dropping
Buffalo to 7-8.
"This loss really hurts," said linebacker London Fletcher,
whose team entered the game having won five of seven. "We had
everything fall into place the way you want it to fall. We played a
home game in a situation where you have to beat a team. And we just
didn't get the job done."
Young improved to 8-4 as a starter and has led the Titans to six
straight wins as they attempt to become the first NFL team to
qualify for the playoffs after starting the season 0-5.
Tennessee still needs help, and must win its season finale when
it hosts New England next weekend.
"Every week he does something to amaze me," Jones said. "I
can't believe some of the things that he does."
It was a wild, back-and-forth contest, featuring seven lead
The Bills had a chance to pull it out but failed in the final
Facing fourth-and-5 at the Titans 28, J.P. Losman scrambled out
of trouble and threw a desperation pass that was intercepted by
Reynaldo Hill at the goal line. On the play, the Bills elected
against a field goal. They were driving into a wind that was
gusting up to 20 mph.
Losman finished 19-of-33 for 266 yards and a touchdown, but
threw two interceptions. Willis McGahee had 95 yards rushing and a
"All we wanted was an opportunity," said Bills receiver Lee
Evans. "It came down to the end of the game and, defensively, they
made more plays than we did offensively."
The game turned after Rian Lindell, with a career-tying fifth
field goal, put the Bills ahead 29-20 late in the third quarter.
Young took over and led the Titans on a nine-play, 62-yard
march, which he capped by hitting a wide-open Jones over the middle
at the 10. Jones eluded Terrence McGee, who slipped on the play,
and ran it in for a 29-yard reception.
After the Bills went three-and-out, the Titans turned to running
back Travis Henry in a drive that ate up 7:15 and, more
significant, produced the winning points.
Henry had 41 yards on eight carries during the drive, and
finished with 135 yards rushing while facing his former team for
the first time since being traded to Tennessee in 2004.
More surprising is that Henry arrived in Buffalo late after he
missed the Titans flight on Saturday.
"I was home just chilling and I got a call from a teammate like
they were going to leave," Henry said, noting he had misread the
Titans' travel schedule. "I got on the first flight that was
available and I had to connect through Charlotte. ... It was
Young laughed when asked about Henry's late arrival.
"He's got a lot of money to book him another flight," Young
said. "He got here, no problems, and went out there and played the
With six straight wins, Young moved into a tie for third
with Pittsburgh's Mike Kruzcek, for the longest streak among rookie
NFL quarterbacks. ... Losman has 12 touchdown passes in his past
eight games, eight of them for 20 yards or longer after he hit
Evans for a 37-yarder on Sunday. ... Bironas hit all three
field-goal attempts for Tennessee, including a tough 42-yarder into