Titans Lose Young, Then Game to Bucs
Sunday, October 14, 2007; 4:57 PM
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tennessee lost Vince Young, then watched the game slip away, too. Matt Bryant's 43-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining Sunday gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 13-10 victory over the Titans.
Tennessee had a five-game road winning streak halted after the 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year limped off in the third quarter.
Jeff Garcia threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway less than five minutes after Young left the game. Garcia then led the Bucs (4-2) on the winning drive after the Titans (3-2) tied the score on LenDale White's 2-yard run with 1:17 left.
Tampa Bay, which rebounded from a lopsided loss to Super Bowl champion Indianapolis, has already matched last season's victory total. The main reason is Garcia, the 37-year-old quarterback signed as a free agent in March.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection completed 20 of 31 passes for 274 yards and has not thrown an interception this season. He used completions of 14 yards to Galloway and 28 and 10 yards to Ike Hilliard to move the Bucs into position for the winning field goal.
Young was injured when he scrambled for a 2-yard gain and was pushed out of bounds by defensive tackle Jovan Haye midway through the third quarter.
The Titans said the second-year quarterback had a quadriceps strain and his return was probable. But he never re-entered the game, and Tennessee had to rely on backup Kerry Collins.
Collins made some clutch throws during a 13-play, 86-yard drive to tie the game, but the normally dependable Tennessee defense couldn't hold off Garcia.
The Titans overcame a sloppy performance by Young to beat Atlanta 20-13 last week. They scored the decisive touchdown on Vincent Fuller's 76-yard interception return, and Albert Haynesworth's leaping tackle at the 1-yard line thwarted the Falcons' bid to tie the score in the closing minutes.
The defense kept Tennessee in this game again Sunday, limiting Tampa Bay to Bryant's 23-yard, second-quarter field goal until Galloway, who still has blazing speed at 35 years old, raced through the Titans secondary to made his TD catch ahead of cornerback Nick Harper.
The Titans turned the ball over twice in the second quarter, with Young's fumble on a bad handoff to Chris Brown stopping a drive that reached the Tampa Bay 32 and the quarterback throwing an interception on a deep pass picked off by Phillip Buchanon just before the half.
The Bucs drove 59 yards after Young's fumble to take a 3-0 lead on Bryant's first field goal. The big play in the march was Garcia's 39-yard completion to Michael Clayton on third-and-11 from the Tampa Bay 39.
Collins completed 10 of 20 passes for 125 yards, but he was mostly ineffective until the Titans put together their long TD drive to tie the score. Collins had completions of 42 yards to Justin Gage and 17 yards to Bo Scaife on third-and-15 to set up White's touchdown.
Tennessee's backup was also helped by instant replay, which overturned two interceptions by Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber _ the second on a pass intended for White in the end zone on the game-tying drive.
The replay showed that Barber got one foot down, but that his right hand came down out of bounds.
Young, who stood on the sideline occasionally flexing his leg during the fourth quarter, was 11-of-14 for 120 yards and one interception.
The Bucs, playing without injured running backs Carnell "Cadillac" Williams and Michael Pittman, rushed for just 30 yards on 13 carries. Fourth-year pro Earnest Graham made his first NFL start and gained 29 yards on 13 attempts.