A waltz for Tennessee
Young takes lead in rout of Saints
NEW ORLEANS - Vince Young got the best of Reggie Bush again, and the NFL's feel-good team from last season is off to a dismal start.
Young threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Tennessee Titans kept New Orleans winless on the year, beating the Saints, 31-14, last night before a Superdome crowd that showered boos on the same players who provided such a pick-me-up to the devastated city a year ago.
The Saints (0-3) rallied from a 10-0 deficit, going ahead, 14-10, midway through the third quarter on Bush's second touchdown run.
But Young, just as he did when leading Texas to an epic win over Bush and Southern Cal at the 2006 Rose Bowl, brought his team back.
While running backs LenDale White and Chris Brown handled the bulk of the workload on the go-ahead drive, it was Young who threaded a key 10-yard pass to Eric Moulds, who was shoved out of bounds at the Saints 1. White, a teammate of Bush's at USC, powered over on the next play to put the Titans (2-1) ahead to stay.
Drew Brees, who had another miserable game, got the ball knocked away on the first play of the fourth quarter - the second of his five turnovers.
"The momentum shifted from there," Brees said. "We never got it back."
Young seized on the Brees fumble to drive Tennessee to the decisive score.
The second-year quarterback completed an 18-yard pass to Roydell Williams, ran for 11 yards, and capped the drive with a 3-yard pass to Bo Scaife that put the Titans ahead, 24-14.
Young also hooked up with Brandon Jones on a 35-yard TD and finished off an efficient performance 14 of 22 for 164 yards. He also ran three times for 23 yards.
"This is a tough one," Saints coach Sean Payton said.
While Bush scored both TDs for the Saints, the Tennessee defense kept him bottled up most of the night. He was held to 15 yards on seven carries and managed just 20 yards on his six receptions.
No one had a more miserable night than Brees, who led the NFL in passing yards last season but can't seem to do anything right now. He threw four interceptions - three by Keith Bulluck, who had never had more than one in a game, and Vince Fuller returned the other 61 yards for a touchdown with his first career pick. Brees now has seven INTs.
Brees's fumble may have been the most devastating turnover. The Saints were still in the game and had driven into Tennessee territory, but Travis LaBoy knocked the ball away with a blindside hit and Randy Starks recovered for the Titans at midfield.
As if another loss wasn't bad enough, New Orleans also lost running back Deuce McAllister to a knee injury in the first half.