Young Rallies Titans Past Texans
Sunday, December 2, 2007; 4:46 PM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans didn't need Rob Bironas to beat the Houston Texans. This time, Vince Young took care of his hometown team.
Young, who missed the previous matchup Bironas won with an NFL-record eight field goals, threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Titans to a 28-20 victory Sunday, snapping a three-game skid.
The Titans (7-5) had defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth back after an injured hamstring kept him out three games. His return helped revive a defense coming off its worst performance of the season in a 35-6 loss at Cincinnati last week.
But it was Titans end Antwan Odom who knocked Matt Schaub out of the game for the second time this year, sacking him and hurting his left shoulder in the first quarter. By the time backup Sage Rosenfels settled in, it was too late for the Texans (5-7), who lost their second straight.
Houston, which needed a win to keep its faint playoff hopes alive, led 10-7 at halftime.
With his family in the stands, Young took over with perhaps the best quarter of his short career, helping the Titans beat the team that replaced them in Houston for the 10th time in 12 games.
Young, who missed Tennessee's 38-36 win on Oct. 21 in Houston with a strained right quadriceps, guided the Titans 63 yards and found an open Roydell Williams on a 43-yard TD pass, putting them up 14-10. It was the Titans first lead since beating Carolina 20-7 on Nov. 4.
Then Young completed all six passes for 40 yards and ran twice for 16 more in an 87-yard drive, that he finished with an 11-yard toss to Justin Gage in the right corner. Young finished the third with a 147.2 passer rating, helping the Titans hold onto the ball for 10 minutes.
Mario Williams, the defensive end Houston chose to draft last year over Young, had 2 1/2 sacks.
Rosenfels answered early in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard TD toss to Andre Johnson. The Titans were forced into a three-and-out, as the Texans tried to help Rosenfels recreate their earlier performance against Tennessee when they scored 29 straight points before falling short, 38-36.
This time Eric King knocked the ball loose from punt returner Jacoby Jones, and the Titans recovered at the Houston 29. Chris Brown ran twice, the second a 7-yard TD for a 28-17 lead.
Down 28-20, Rosenfels had one last chance for a rally but was picked off by Titans rookie Michael Griffin, himself a Texas native, with 2:40 to go.
The Titans punted it back, but Rosenfels had no timeouts and could only scramble for a first down with 17 seconds left before time expired.
Houston opened the game rolling 74 yards in nine plays, and Ron Dayne scored on a 1-yard run.
Quickly, the Titans answered back with only their second TD drive to start a game this season. LenDale White ran over from the 1 for the tie.
On the next drive, Odom sacked Schaub, whose left hand hit the ground first. Schaub was down for a few minutes, then was helped to the locker room. The Texans also lost right guard Fred Weary midway through the second quarter when he was carted off with an injured right leg.
Rosenfels set up Kris Browns' 45-yard field goal just before halftime by hooking up three times with Johnson.
Bironas had a chance to tie it at the end of the half, but his 53-yard attempt into the wind fell short, snapping his streak of 19 consecutive field goals.