|Vince Young learns producing magic in NFL tough without help|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 06 January 2008 14:48|
And found himself smothered, first by San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman, then by Luis Castillo.
The quarterback who ran all over Southern California two years ago to lead Texas to a national title had a very painful baptism to the NFL playoffs Sunday in a 17-6 loss to San Diego in an AFC wild-card game.
Playing with a sore right quadriceps muscle, Young played well enough not to hurt the Titans for most of the game.
But when Tennessee needed some of the timely plays Young came up with in producing five fourth-quarter comebacks as the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, Young didn't have enough help.
Young was playing behind an offensive line with all five members making their postseason debuts because center Kevin Mawae (injured left calf) and right guard Benji Olson (back) couldn't play. He also didn't have top tight end Bo Scaife (lacerated liver) and receiver Roydell Williams.
The first quarterback drafted in 2006 had been 17-11 as a starter through his first two seasons. He helped the Titans open the game by driving to a field goal and a 3-0 lead.
With 8:45 left and trailing 17-6, Young couldn't find any room to operate.
He tossed an incomplete pass and was sacked by Merriman and then Castillo to go three-and-out. The defense that shut out San Diego in the first half and carried Tennessee to its first playoff berth since 2003 got Young the ball back with 3:56 remaining.
But the Titans went backward on two plays before Drayton Florence picked off a Young pass, ending the quarterback's day.
Young finished 16-of-29 for 138 yards.