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Vince Young Report, Week 13

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Another week, another come from behind win for Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans. A week after coming back from a 21-0 fourth quarter deficit to beat the New York Giants, Vince Young helped bring back Tennessee from an early 14-0 deficit against the Colts.

Vince wasn't perfect yesterday, but he was certainly effective enough, and plenty dangerous. Vince had two deep balls intercepted in the end zone - one on a great play by the cornerback, one on a ball he never should have thrown - but he never wavered and finished with two touchdown passes.

Most maddening for the Colts, Vince repeatedly killed them with his legs, picking up 78 yards on just 9 rushes. Vince looked just like the elite scrambler Texas fans were spoiled with, and the Colts couldn't slow him down. Indianapolis Star beat writer Bob Kravitz certainly took notice:

RUN DEFENSE: D

I would give this group an "F,'' but when it comes to Vince Young's heroics on the ground, I'm going to save some of the vitriol for the pass defense.

And...

PASS DEFENSE: D

I don't know all there is to know about various pass coverages and techniques, but I know that when the opponent is at the 8-yard line, the defender -- let's just call him Jason David -- should not be 10 yards off the ball. The bigger issue, though, was the Colts' failure to figure out a way to do anything with Young's scrambling, especially on third down. He made it look like last year's national final against USC, didn't he? Worse yet, it appeared the Colts were confused about what they were supposed to be doing defensively almost all day.

Yeap. Vince has that effect on opposing teams.

How about the Colts bloggers? Totally bewildered. Outright losing their minds, really. Over at SBN's Indianapolis blog, Stampede Blue, the author refuses to see the greatness of Vince Young, writing, "Somebody tackle, please. Vince Young ran wild, and at some point it got silly. Why are the Colts playing him like a real QB? HE CAN'T THROW!"

We've heard this before, right? We heard it when Vince was still growing into college's best quarterback, and we're hearing it from Vince's victims during his rapid ascendency in the NFL. "Vince can't throw. Vince is only a runner. Vince is like Michael Vick."

Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that; Vince doesn't care, and he's just scratching the surface of what he can do.

TSN's Brian Baldinger gushed over Young before he took out the Colts, writing:

While scouting him for the draft, I concluded Young could be to the NFL what Magic Johnson was to the NBA -- an unconventional superstar. Many people questioned whether a 6-9 point guard with no jump shot could dominate the NBA, but, of course, Magic did. And many people questioned whether a quarterback with lousy mechanics and little track record as a passer could star in the NFL. Folks, he already is -- and he's just warming up...

At 6-5, Young stands tall in the pocket and sees the field well. His accuracy is better than advertised, as he showed with two stick touchdown throws to the end zone in the fourth quarter last week. His sidearm throwing motion isn't textbook -- he flicks the ball more than he throws it -- but his release is so quick defenders have trouble anticipating where the ball will go.

Young can run, too. He is harder to tackle than Michael Vick because he's so big, and he runs with more control. His ability to elude the rush also gives him an advantage over typical pocket passers.

Beyond his phenomenal athletic ability, Young is a great leader. If somebody makes a mistake, he lets him know it. But more than that, he plays with poise and confidence. The guy knows nothing but winning, and an air like that is infectious. No wonder a ragtag young Titans team has gone 4-4 since he became the starter.

Make that 5-4. And the Colts and the other teams in the AFC South had better take notice. As Vince improves his accuracy, gets a better supporting cast around him, and advances in his knowledge of the professional game, he's going to become one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. Hell, as a rookie, he's already showing tremendous poise while flashing signs of that enormously high ceiling that made him the #3 choice in the NFL draft.

At some point, the only doubters left in the room will be left looking like myopic fools. It's getting harder and harder to deny what Vince Young is, and can be, in the National Football League. Better get on board soon. The train's almost full.

--PB--