Young sacked four times, but Titans rally past Pats

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Vince Young was pounded by an aggressive Patriots defense one week after being punished by his coach.

The strong scrambler was sacked four times in the Tennessee Titans' 27-24 win over New England on Friday night. Coach Jeff Fisher had benched him for their exhibition opener for spending the night before the game at home instead of the team hotel.

"I'm just glad to be back out here with my teammates," Young said. "Last week was a painful moment."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took his own lumps. He was hit hard and knocked down twice as he threw the ball. Both passes were intercepted. He played seven series before Matt Cassel took over late in the first half.

"Quarterbacks take hits throughout the league," said Rodney Harrison, who sacked Young. "Tom's a tough kid. He works very hard to prepare his body to take hits."

Young completed five of 17 passes for 102 yards and ran four times for 9 yards. Last season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year also was tackled just short of the goal line on his final play and was replaced by Kerry Collins to start the third quarter.

"The first time out is always rough," Collins said. "He hadn't been out there in a while. ... Vince can take hits like that. It's his strength. He bounces right back up."

Collins led Tennessee back from a 17-7 halftime deficit on a 15-yard pass to Roydell Williams, John Vaughn's 31-yard field goal and Dontrell Moore's 4-yard run.

Vaughn's 22-yard field goal provided the winning points with 1:49 left after quarterback Matt Gutierrez scrambled for a 2-yard touchdown for the Patriots (0-2).

"There's so much work we have to do," said Kevin Faulk, who led the Patriots with six catches for 89 yards. "It's kind of hard to even talk about it."

Young had a chance to bring the Titans (1-1) to 17-14 after they were stopped on two runs from the Patriots' 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, he ran off right tackle but was stopped by a swarm of tacklers led by Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel in the final minute of the first half.

"It was a good moment," said Le Kevin Smith, who also sacked Young. "It's just great for our defense to be able to contain him."

Brady finished with respectable numbers -- 10-for-19 for 145 yards, a 28-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker and two interceptions. He got up slowly after both.

On the Patriots' first possession, Kyle Vanden Bosch rushed up the middle and slammed Brady as he released the ball. Cortland Finnegan picked it off and ran 51 yards for a touchdown.

During Brady's second series of the second quarter, he was knocked down by Antwan Odom. Lamont Thompson intercepted, giving the Titans the ball at their 41-yard line. That just brought Young more punishment.

On the next series, he was sacked on consecutive plays for 8 yards each, by Smith and Harrison.

Cassel struggled and threw two interceptions to cornerback Michael Griffin, Tennessee's first-round pick from Texas.

"It looked as if he has really taken a step this last week," Fisher said.

The Patriots were coming off a 13-10 loss at Tampa Bay in which Brady played just two series. The Titans lost 14-6 to Washington with the first team offense, led by Collins, managing just a field goal.

New England played its second straight game without two key offensive starters -- wide receiver Randy Moss (upper leg injury) and running back Laurence Maroney (offseason shoulder surgery).

The last time the teams met, the Patriots ended the Titans' playoff hopes with a 40-23 win in their last regular-season game.

Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck said this week he was upset with the way some Patriots players acted after that game. He was irked at wide receiver Reche Caldwell and the fact the Patriots went for a touchdown -- a scoring pass by Vinny Testaverde -- with the outcome already decided.

"I'm a standup guy and I say what I believe," Bulluck said. "There are no ill feelings between me and anyone on the New England Patriots."

Game notes
Tennessee's Chris Brown led rushers with 67 yards on 10 carries. ... Danny Baugher had a 70-yard punt for the Patriots. He averaged 49 yards on three punts. His strong kicking in training camp was one reason veteran Josh Miller was released.

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Antigua Men's Tennessee Titans Pique Xtra-Lite Navy PoloPrice: $39.99 Shop

  • Nike Boys' Home Game Jersey New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski #87Shop

NFL News