Quarterback Vince Young has made some plays with his arm and with his legs for the Tennessee Titans.
But in Sunday’s 41-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Young added another trick to his repertoire.
Young tossed a pass to running back Chris Johnson on a play that was heading to the left, but was quickly bottled up by the Bills defense. Johnson then began to counter back across the field, as Buffalo defensive back Reggie Corner approached him with what looked like a clear shot to tackle Johnson for a loss.
However, Young, watching the play after having thrown the football, sprinted toward Corner and leveled him with a devastating block good enough to have made Hines Ward proud.
“The biggest thing that was going through my head was not to do a Brett Favre [and get a penalty] and attack one of those guys like that,” Young said. “You get the ball into C.J.’s hands, the other 10 guys have to make some plays for him and let him do what he does.
“I see the cutback and I see a guy trying to sprint on it and make a play, so I said, ‘Why just sit back and no do anything?’ So I just went out and tried to make a block for him so I could spring him and he could get that first down like he did.”
The play wound up being a 9-yard gain, good enough for a Titans first down, and Tennessee went on to cash the drive in for a touchdown on a 28-yard run by Johnson, who tied Billy Cannon’s 1961 team record with his second game of 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. He also accomplished the feat in week two against Houston.
As for the block that sprung him on the play, Johnson said it didn’t surprise him that it came from Young.
“I won’t say I’m surprised, because Vince, he’s a competitor,” Johnson said. “Basically a lot of people say different things about Vince and this and that, but basically the only thing on Vince’s mind is he wants to win. He doesn’t care if he throws for 300 yards or rushes for 100 yards, he just wants to look up and have that victory.”
Getting in his head
Maybe it’s appropriate that Buffalo receiver Terrell Owens has his own reality show, because on Sunday, Owens had his share of ups and downs, and not just in his battle with Cortland Finnegan.
Owens caught three passes for 85 yards including a 46-yarder that set up a Buffalo touchdown, but was caught in an exchange on the sideline with receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, and also sounded as if he wasn’t overly thrilled with the play of quarterback Trent Edwards, who had a pass intercepted and returned for a score. A couple of drives later, a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass for Owens went right through his hands and to Rod Hood, who returned it for a score.
Finnegan was happy to try and throw Owens off his game a little on Sunday.
“He’s a really good receiver, a future Hall of Famer. It was a great day. I wish I could have done some things better, but I was just trying to get in his head, because he’s so talented. That’s all I was trying to do,” Finnegan said.
Asked what he was telling Owens when the two were chirping at each other, he joked, “I actually was telling him my mama’s recipe for sweet potato casserole. He was really taking a liking to that.”
Owens was asked about Finnegan, and said, “That is not my game. Obviously, he is one of those guys that wants to be physical. I just go out there and try to compete. He is a competitor and that is what I saw.”
Asked about Edwards’ play, Owens seemed somewhat succinct.
“There were passes completed, so I don’t know. Did he just get off at the end? It was one of those things. That is a question that you will have to ask Trent. I am just going out there with the plays that are called, trying to get open,” Owens said.
Earlier, Owens’ agent Drew Rosenhaus had criticized Edwards and the Bills offensive line in a radio interview.
Edwards was asked about Owens body language, and said, “I’ve played with similar players that handled themselves that way.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was in attendance at the game with Titans owner Bud Adams, and sat in the crowd when season ticket holder Lisa Hayes in section 104 responded to a Twitter feed, asking the commissioner to join her in the section. To her surprise, Goodell did just that, spending some time in the second half seated next to Hayes.
Finnegan wasn’t the only Titan getting a little bit chippy in the game. On Vincent Fuller’s touchdown return of an Edwards interception, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was flagged for a personal foul after the score on Buffalo guard Eric Wood.
“That guy was talking the whole day, No. 70, so I kind of expected it from him after that play,” Vanden Bosch said.
Vanden Bosch said he was just trying to get block on the quick change of possession when he hit Wood.
Anytime we get an interception, we try to make it an opportunity to score and get it blocked. I just saw a guy chasing the ball. I didn’t know whether Vinnie was going to cut back or whether he was going to score. I didn’t know what was going on behind me.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt, starting in place of injured Justin Gage, came up with a 38-yard catch that helped set up the Titans’ second touchdown.
Britt snagged the ball from Vince Young after just getting behind Drayton Florence, who went down on the play and tried to take the ball away as both men went to the ground.
I had the ball when I came down, and one of his hands was on the ball. He tried to rip it from me. But the man with his back down to the ground always gets the ball.
Punter Brett Kern had a 58-yard punt on his first attempt of the day for the Titans, but that isn’t the most amazing stat involving Tennessee’s new punter.
Kern, claimed off waivers three weeks ago from the Denver Broncos, is 9-0 this season – undefeated. Kern was with the Broncos when they were 6-0, but was waived in favor of veteran Mitch Berger.
Since coming to the 0-6 Titans, he has helped them to three straight wins, meaning he has been on the winning side of all nine games he has played in this year. Denver, by the way, has not won since Kern left.