Titans 20, Cardinals 17

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 29:  Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

http://view.picapp.com//JavaScripts/OTIjs.jsWords cannot do justice to this football game, but I will do my best.

With the Titans losing 17-13 and with 2:37 left in the game, Vince Young converted three 4th downs during a 99-yard drive that ended with a Kenny Britt touchdown catch.

Tennessee’s poor special teams play almost cost them the victory, but Young and Britt produced what one broadcaster called “Music City Miracle II.” The Titans have won five straight games and now have a slim chance to make the playoffs.

Story of the Game: Vince Young”s greatest NFL game

Regardless of what Vince Young accomplishes in the future, his performance against the Arizona Cardinals may turn out to be his most important NFL game.

With a 387-yard passing performance and a historic 99-yard drive:

  • He silenced his critics and assured that those who continue to criticize him will sound like fools
  • He reasserted himself as the team’s leader and virtually assured that he will remain the Titans’ franchise quarterback
  • He recaptured the hearts of Titans fans, some of whom did not support him after a rocky beginning to his career
  • He showed Nashville, and the world, why Longhorns fans have unconditional love for him

Does this sound like hyperbole? If you saw the game, you know I’m not exaggerating.

The Other Story of the Game: Titans’ not-so-special teams rears it ugly head, again

Why, Jeff Fisher, why?

Why do you continue to play Russian roulette with your kick and punt returners? Why did you deactivate return specialist Alvin Pearman in favor of inexperienced punt returner Kevin Kaesviharn, who made key errors, one of which set up Young’s career-defining moment?

Cardinals running back LaRod Stephen-Howling had a great day on special teams. He returned one kickoff for a touchdown and downed three punts inside the Titans 10-yard line.

I’m ecstatic about the win, but Fisher needs to commit once and for all to having an experienced player handle return duties every week.

Kenny Britt

Kenny Britt had the best game of his young career, catching seven passes for 128 yards. His touchdown catch redeemed an earlier fourth quarter fumble after a 50-yard reception.

Championship teams usually have three great playmakers on offense. Britt may become the third component of the “Titans Triplets” along with Young and Chris Johnson.

Speaking of Johnson…

It takes a lot to make Chris Johnson a footnote, but Vince Young has done so the past two weeks. Not to be overlooked is CJ’s 154 yards rushing, including an 85-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter.

Titans pass defense

Many fans (including yours truly) were nervous to see that aging cornerback Nick Harper would start against Larry Fitzgerald, arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Harper and his secondary mates more than held their own against Arizona’s receiving corps. Fitzgerald caught four passes for 34 yards, and Anquan Boldin led the Cardinals with five catches for 53 yards. Quarterback Matt Leinart performed well after not getting much practice time, but, thankfully, the Titans defense did not give up a touchdown pass.

Next Week: The Colts

Yes, the Colts are 11-0. Yes, the game is in Indianapolis. It speaks well of the Colts franchise that they have the ability to come from behind in closely-contested games, but this team is vulnerable. I think the 5-6 Tennessee Titans can hand the Colts their first loss of the 2009 season.

Go Titans!

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