Young, Leinart Make Their Marks

Monday, November 27th 2006, 6:02 am
By: News On 6

Vince Young and Matt Leinart showcased the skills that made them first-round draft picks after super college careers. Young even got a win _ in record-setting fashion.

The third overall pick in this year's draft, Young rallied Tennessee (4-7) from a 21-point deficit in the final quarter Sunday for a 24-21 win over the New York Giants. It was the biggest fourth-quarter comeback by a rookie quarterback, topping John Elway's 19-point rally with Denver on Dec. 11, 1983, against Indianapolis.

``The legend of Vince Young began a long time ago,'' said Titans receiver Brandon Jones, who caught the TD pass that tied the game.

Young agreed.

``It's a sneak peek of what's to happen not just for me, but this team in general,'' Young said of a club that has won four of its last six in matching last year's victory total with five games left.

Leinart wasn't so successful for Arizona. He completed 31 of 52 passes for a career-high 405 yards, but had two interceptions and only one TD _ a 9-yard pass to Anquan Boldin with 39 seconds to play _ in a 31-26 loss at Minnesota.

Larry Fitzgerald Jr., had 11 catches for 172 yards. Boldin made nine receptions for 136 yards for the Cardinals (2-9).

``This is the first time we've played pretty well on the road and had a chance to win at the end,'' Leinart said. ``I thought we showed a lot of fight. ... All around I thought it was a great effort, we just ran out of time.''

Elsewhere Sunday, it was New England 17, Chicago 13; Indianapolis 45, Philadelphia 21; Baltimore 27, Pittsburgh 0; Cincinnati 30, Cleveland 0; San Diego 21, Oakland 14; New Orleans 31, Atlanta 13; Washington 17, Carolina 13; Buffalo 27, Jacksonville 24; the New York Jets 26, Houston 11; and St. Louis 21, San Francisco 17.

On Monday night, Green Bay is at Seattle.

The weekend opened on Thanksgiving Day, when Miami beat Detroit 27-10, Dallas took Tampa Bay 38-10, and Kansas City defeated Denver 19-10.

Titans 24, Giants 21

At Nashville, Young ran for a touchdown and threw for two more in the final 9:35, finishing with a career-high 249 yards passing. Rob Bironas kicked a 49-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to win it.

Adam ``Pacman'' Jones intercepted two passes and had a 23-yard punt return that revived his teammates in the fourth quarter.

The comeback topped the Titans' previous best fourth-quarter rally from 15 points on Nov. 1, 1987, against Cincinnati. It was the biggest in the NFL since Indianapolis came back from 21 down in the fourth period at Tampa Bay on Oct. 6, 2003, and won 38-25.

``Wow!'' Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

The Giants (6-5) lost their third straight and fell a game behind the Dallas Cowboys (7-4) in the NFC East going into next week's game in the Meadowlands. They were victimized by a penalty and a missed sack on fourth-down plays that could have ended Tennessee's chances.

``I don't have the words to talk about it right now, and I probably won't when I see it. We're going to be sick about this one forever,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

Vikings 31, Cardinals 26

At Minneapolis, Leinart wasn't the only effective QB. Brad Johnson threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns, while Chester Taylor added 136 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Vikings (5-6). Minnesota's defense forced five turnovers and allowed just 17 yards rushing to snap a four-game losing streak.

The Cardinals (2-9) got a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by J.J. Arrington on the opening play of the game and a 99-yard fumble return for a score by Adrian Wilson in the fourth, but couldn't overcome turnovers, penalties and a suddenly productive Vikings offense. The two 99-yard returns were the first pair of such length since Dallas had a 101- and 100-yarder in 1962.

Dennis Green lost in his return to the Metrodome, where he coached the Vikings for 10 seasons.

Patriots 17, Bears 13

Benjamin Watson hung onto Tom Brady's 2-yard pass in the end zone to win a sloppy game. Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel had three interceptions.

Playing on their new artificial turf, the Patriots (8-3) persevered against the Bears (9-2), who had allowed the fewest points in the league, 120. But New England was the second stingiest at 131.

The Bears had five takeaways, including Charles Tillman's second interception.

Colts 45, Eagles 21

At Indianapolis, Joseph Addai tied a franchise record with four touchdowns.

Addai opened the game by sandwiching a 10-yard score around two 15-yard runs to give Indy a 21-0 lead. He added a late 4-yard run. The rookie running back finished with 171 yards.

Lenny Moore, Lydell Mitchell and Eric Dickerson are the only other Colts players with four TDs in one game.

The Colts (10-1) can clinch their fourth straight AFC South title with a win at Tennessee next week.

Philadelphia (5-6) played its first game without Donovan McNabb, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament. Brian Westbrook ran 20 times for 124 yards and one touchdown, becoming the first Eagles player since Wilbert Montgomery in 1981 to produce three straight 100-yard games.

Ravens 27, Steelers 0

Any chance the Steelers had of returning to the Super Bowl might have been laid to rest by the Ravens.

The host Ravens sacked Ben Roethlisberger nine times and coasted to their fifth straight victory, dropping Pittsburgh to 4-7. Baltimore (9-2) limited the defending NFL champions to 36 yards in the decisive first half. The nine sacks totaled 73 yards and matched a Ravens franchise record.

It was the second time this year that the Steelers were shut out; the last time Pittsburgh was blanked at least twice in a season was in 1989.

Bengals 30, Browns 0

At Cleveland, Cincinnati picked off Charlie Frye four times and Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes. The shutout was the Bengals' first since Dec. 3, 1989, a span of 269 games.

Palmer finished 25-of-32 for 275 yards and connected with Chris Henry for two TD passes as the Bengals (6-5) stayed in the AFC playoff race by beating Cleveland for the fifth straight time.

Before piling up yardage during extended garbage time in the fourth quarter, the Browns (3-8) had only 167 yards _ 21 rushing _ after three quarters. By then, they were down 30-0 and on their way to dropping to 1-5 at home.

Following an interception, Browns receiver Braylon Edwards and Frye angrily exchanged words and had to be separated.

Chargers 21, Raiders 14

At San Diego, LaDainian Tomlinson keyed yet another second-half rally to give the AFC West-leading Chargers (9-2) their fifth straight win.

Tomlinson, in the midst of an MVP-type season, rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another. He has 24 touchdowns this season, needing five in the last five games to break the NFL record of 28 set by Shaun Alexander during his MVP season of 2005.

Tomlinson threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates to tie the game at 14. Tomlinson threw his second TD pass of the season and the sixth of his career.

After the Raiders (2-9) punted, Tomlinson broke a 44-yard run on first down, then capped the drive with a 10-yard scoring run. It was his 21st touchdown in seven games.

Saints 31, Falcons 13

At Atlanta, Drew Brees threw a 76-yard touchdown to Devery Henderson on the third play of the game, then lofted a 48-yarder to Terrance Copper on the final play of the first half. Brees completed 21-of-30 for 349 yards, his the fifth straight 300-yard game

New Orleans bounced back from losing three of four, boosted its playoff hopes and delivered a crushing blow to its NFC South rival. The Saints (7-4) won without rookie star Marques Colston, who didn't play because of a sprained ankle.

The Falcons (5-6) lost their fourth straight. Even though quarterback Michael Vick ran for 166 yards, Atlanta couldn't overcome five dropped passes and a shocking defensive breakdown just before halftime.

Vick challenged his NFL record for yards rushing by a quarterback, coming up 7 short of his 173-yard performance in an overtime victory at Minnesota in 2002.

Redskins 17, Panthers 13

Chris Cooley's 66-yard touchdown reception won it. Cooley broke several tackles with 4:26 to play to break a two-game losing streak for the Redskins (4-7) and give quarterback Jason Campbell his first win in his second NFL start.

Ladell Betts, the Redskins' featured running back now that Clinton Portis is out for the year, ran for 104 yards on 24 carries.

The Redskins defense held the Panthers (6-5) to 264 total yards. Steve Smith gave the Panthers a 13-10 lead with 7:55 to play with a spectacular 8-yard catch in the back of the end zone.

Bills 27, Jaguars 24

J.P. Losman hit Roscoe Parrish for a 30-yard completion to set up Rian Lindell's 42-yard field goal as time ran out. The Bills (5-6) scored 28 seconds after the Jaguars tied it when David Garrard hit Matt Jones for a 3-yard touchdown.

Bills running back Willis McGahee had 63 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his first game after missing the past two with broken ribs. Parrish also scored on an 82-yard punt return.

The visiting Jaguars (6-5) dropped to 1-4 on the road.

Jets 26, Texans 11

Chad Pennington had his finest passing day in weeks, throwing for 286 yards and a touchdown. Pennington, who left briefly in the third quarter after an injury scare, finished 24-of-31. He connected with Laveranues Coles nine times for 111 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Jerricho Cotchery had seven catches for 110 yards.

Mike Nugent tied a career high with four field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder for the host Jets (6-5).

David Carr was 39-of-54 for 321 yards, while Andre Johnson and Eric Moulds each had 10 catches for Houston (3-8).

Rams 20, 49ers 17

At St. Louis, Marc Bulger threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis with 27 seconds to go and the Rams (5-6) snapped a five-game skid. Stymied much of the game, Bulger was 9-for-9 for 66 yards during a 12-play, 80-yard drive for the winning score. He finished 23-for-34 for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

After being limited to 27 yards last week, Steven Jackson had 121 yards on 23 carries, with a 36-yard scoring run in the first half. He also made nine receptions for 71 yards.

Frank Gore had 134 yards on 21 carries for the 49ers (5-6).