Titans 21 Bills 18
CANTON, Ohio — Kerry Collins was sharp and Vince Young tentative for the Tennessee Titans in overshadowing Terrell Owens’ debut for the Buffalo Bills.
With a little trickery and a solid performance by the Collins-led starting offence, Tennessee opened the pre-season with a 21-18 win in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday night.
If this was the NFL’s throwback weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Football League, then this also resembled the Titans’ quarterback situation at the beginning of last year. That’s when Young got off to a terrible start and lost his starting job to Collins by Week 2.
Collins, already selected the starter, quickly began delivering on the faith the Titans put in him after being signed to a $15-million, two-year contract this off-season.
He went 7-of-10 for 82 yards in producing two touchdown drives, one capped by reserve punter A.J. Trapasso’s 40-yard run on a perfectly executed fake punt on the opening possession. Collins was especially efficient in going 3-for-4 for 49 yards on third down.
“I thought we got off to a good start,” Collins said.
“We executed our offence and played fast out there.”
The same couldn’t be said for Young, who took over at the start of the second quarter. In his first three series, Young was 1-of-5 for 13 yards and an interception, nearly dropped a shotgun snap and looked hesitant running the ball when he was easily caught from behind by rookie linebacker Nic Harris.
Young finally warmed up, and showed great touch in hitting Paul Williams for a five-yard touchdown pass to convert third-and-2 to put the Titans up 21-3 late in the second quarter. The No. 3 selection in the 2006 draft still has a long way to go to regain his once-dominating form. In five series, Young went 5-of-10 for 39 yards, and a one-yard run.
The Bills were sluggish and looked nothing like the better-prepared team, considering Buffalo opened training camp two weeks ago — a week ahead of the Titans.
On the field for only one series, Owens had two catches for 27 yards, including a 16-yarder on the second play from scrimmage. Trent Edwards hit Owens in perfect stride on a slant,