A few weeks ago, the closest Young and Matt Leinart figured to get on Sunday to reprising their classic battle in the 2006 Rose Bowl was to exchange pleasantries at midfield. But thanks to Young taking advantage of a second chance in Tennessee and Leinart playing well in place of injured Kurt Warner, they put a charge into what had been a ho-hum day of action.
And Young again came out on top with last-second heroics, tossing a fourth-down touchdown pass to rookie Kenny Britt.
In the process, Young has led the Titans to becoming the first team in NFL history to reel off five consecutive victories. Suddenly it doesn't seem so farfetched that Tennessee could go from 0-6 to postseason action.
Thanks to losses by Jacksonville and Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Titans are a single game out in the race for the second wild card spot in the AFC. Tennessee loses the tiebreaker to the Steelers due to a season-opening loss in Pittsburgh and faces the Colts and Chargers down the stretch. But the remaining three teams on their schedule are a combined 10-23.
The Ravens might have also saved their season with a dramatic overtime victory at home against the Steelers to close out Sunday's action. Instead of being three games behind the Steelers, Baltimore is just one game behind with a visit to the Steel City looming in Week 16.
Young may well always be a lightning rod for critics. But the drama he provided Sunday was a thunder clap straight into the heart of the AFC playoff picture.
"Like I said last week, I love everybody (laughing)," Young said when asked about his skeptics. "I love my haters. I love the fans who love me. I mean, I don't really focus into that. Everybody has their own opinion. Sometimes, they are right. Sometimes, they help me focus and see that yeah, I really do need to get better at this thing or that."
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