Young's throws limited, resiliency obvious a week after being pulled

Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 8:33pm
Staff reports

Vince Young was back in the starting lineup Sunday, but it was not until the second half of the Tennessee Titans’ 29-10 victory over the New York Giants that he dropped back to pass regularly.

One week after getting pulled in a loss to Pittsburgh, Young completed 10 of 16 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Only four of those throws came in the first half, which ended with the teams tied 10-10.

“I wanted to go out there and be consistent, move the ball down the field, and get us the victory,” Young said. “Everything played out the way it’s supposed to be because of the fact that everyone played and took care of our responsibilities and put points on the scoreboard.”

Young has not lost consecutive games as a starter since he dropped three straight in Nov. 2007. Since then, he has started 16 games – a full season’s worth.

“He’s expected to bounce back,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “It was a difficult week a week ago. … He bounced right back early in the week and got the game plan and that’s where I thought he would be. He’s a great pro.”

Statistically speaking, the Titans’ offense paled in comparison to the Giants in terms of total yards (471-271), first downs (26-17) and time of possession (31:38-28:22).

The most telling number was turnovers. The Titans, who committed seven against Pittsburgh, did not commit any. The Giants committed three.

Young has not thrown an interception in either of the Titans’ two victories. He threw two against the Steelers.

“I never doubted Vince’s abilities,” running back Chris Johnson said. “He’s a great player.  When you look at last game, … it wasn’t all Vince’s fault. I felt like the whole offense had to rebound and I feel like we did a better job.”

Still, much of the focus on the week was on Young and his ability to come back from being pulled from a game. The last time it happened, Week 1 of 2008, his reaction led to Kerry Collins getting the job for nearly two full seasons.

“I wanted to show those guys that I put that in the past and got myself prepared to play so I could lead them to a victory,” Young said. “The guys understood that, and from the slapping hands on the sidelines and smiling and joking in the locker room, guys learned that.

“That’s why I respect my team.  Guys respect me and I’m always going to give them the same respect back.”

Rookie’s opportunity: Cornerback Jason McCourty made his first career interception in the first quarter but was knocked out of the game a short time later with a broken forearm.

Rookie Alterraun Verner replaced him for the remainder of the game. The fourth-round draft pick out of UCLA finished with four tackles and a fumble recovery.

“We may be without (McCourty) for a week or two,” Fisher said, “I think he’s got a slight forearm fracture; he didn’t return in the game but Altrerraun Verner came in and played well.”

Happy homecoming: Second-year wide receiver Kenny Britt, a New Jersey native, was the only player for either team with a receiving touchdown.

His leaping catch in the end zone for a 13-yard score gave the Titans a 19-10 advantage.

“It’s like a dream come true because I lived five minutes down the road,” Britt said. “I was here when the Giants played [here] for 21 years of my life and things like that. Coming back to play in this stadium, especially their new stadium that they have down here, it’s a beautiful stadium. I had my friends and family here. I was feeling great.”

Familiar face: Former Titans’ linebacker Keith Bulluck recorded four tackles, which was tied for fourth-most on the Giants.

“He was one of my closest friends when he was on the team,” Johnson said. “Looking over there and seeing him was kind of crazy, but it’s always fun playing against him.”

Wide eyed: Eight of Young’s 10 completions were to wide receivers – three each to Justin Gage and Nate Washington, two to Britt.

Getting there: Linebacker Will Witherspoon one of the Titans’ two sacks. The free agent linebacker has had one in each of the three games.