Looming Large: Vince Young

Photo: Joe Murphy, Getty Images

Jess Huffman continues his preseason series on the most dangerous player from each of the Colts' 13 unique opponents this year. In Week 2, Titans quarterback Vince Young will be looming large and will have to be accounted for as a passer and a runner.

In his final seven games last season, Vince Young was like a prize fighter, knocking out opposing defenses with a combination of blows from the ground and through the air. He was like Mike Tyson under Cus D'Amato - so good, so raw and so ruthless. He was his own new brand of football -- the thrower, the runner and the big-time performer.

All of these qualities were put on display last Dec. 3rd against the Colts. A new NFL star emerged and delivered his Tennessee Titans to an upset victory over Indianapolis, 20-17. Young will attempt to repeat this feat on Sept. 16th, when the Colts return to Tennessee for the first time since that day.

Vince Young
Elsa, Getty Images
Sure, the 60-yard field goal off the boot of Rob Bironas with just seven seconds remaining was no doubt the shocker during that game. However, leading up to the final blow was a remarkable performance by a young rookie signal-caller.

Young dismantled the defense of the eventual Super Bowl Champions with a deadly combination of run and pass, carrying the Titans to their first win over the Colts since 2002. He compiled 241 total yards and two touchdowns, passing for 163 yards and rushing for another 78 yards on nine attempts, averaging 8.7 yards per carry.

When the Colts guessed run, Young passed. When the defensive line collapsed, Young knifed his way inside and weaved to the secondary.

This type of performance was not unusual - not for Young, and not for the Colts.  Indianapolis had trouble stopping the run all season. When they faced the possibility of the quarterback taking off, they were spread pretty thin.

Young was playing like a man possessed toward the end of 2006, leading the Titans to a 6-1 record over the final seven games of the regular season. He averaged 171.1 passing yards and 53.7 rushing yards during that final stretch. That, my friends, is called a dual-threat. A one man show.

Let's hope that doesn't carry over to 2007.  With a season of experience under his belt, he should be even more lethal.

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