NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On rubbery legs, Titans coach Jeff Fisher summed up what everyone just saw.
“You guys don’t mind if I sit down and do this do you? OK. Wow! What a great finish!” Fisher said as he slumped behind the podium. “We’ve had some finishes around here, but I can’t remember one like that. Just a tremendous finish.”
Vince Young outdueled Matt Leinart again with yet another spectacular winning drive. He hit a leaping Kenny Britt for a 10-yard touchdown as time expired, and the Tennessee Titans rallied to beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 Sunday for their fifth straight win.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt compared the disappointment to losing the Super Bowl in February.
“It’s as close to that as possible because we knew today that it would be difficult against this team, and our team rallied and pulled together. When you’re six seconds away from winning it, it makes it even tougher,” Whisenhunt said.
“There’s not a lot you can do when he extends the play like that,” Whisenhunt added of Young.
Young won his ninth straight start and improved to 23-11 in his career by driving the Titans 99 yards on 18 plays in the final 2:37. He converted three fourth downs on the drive, two to Britt. He threw for a career-high 387 yards in beating Leinart in their first meeting as professionals and first overall since the BCS national championship in January 2006.
Asked if this felt like that BCS game, Young said it did a – a little.
“We’re in the NFL now. ... As the Tennessee Titans, I feel we fought to the finish,” Young said.
The Titans (5-6) have not lost since Young replaced Kerry Collins as the starter. They are the first team to win five in a row after starting 0-6.
Arizona snapped a three-game winning streak. Leinart made his first start since Oct. 7, 2007, as the Cardinals sat Kurt Warner due to what Whisenhunt called sensitivity in the quarterback’s eyes. Arizona also has an NFC matchup with Minnesota next week.
Leinart threw for 220 yards, LaRod Stephens-Howling returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Tim Hightower also ran for a TD for Arizona. But the Cardinals lost for the first time this season away from home with Warner watching from the sideline wearing sweats.
Just as Young had the ball last in that memorable Rose Bowl game for Texas over Southern California, he won this one in style. Arizona receiver Steve Breaston, who lost to Young while at Michigan, walked over to Leinart on the sideline early in the drive and called it déj vu.