NASHVILLE, Tenn. » National championship, regular season or simply an exhibition. The setting doesn’t seem to matter, not when Vince Young is playing Matt Leinart.
Young outdueled Leinart yet again, Chris Johnson ran for a touchdown and Tennessee beat the Arizona Cardinals 24-10 last night in the Titans’ preseason home opener.
The Titans (1-1) never trailed, as Johnson scored on his sixth carry, an 8-yard TD that capped an 85-yard drive. The All-Pro watched from the bench the rest of the night.
The top two quarterbacks taken in the 2006 draft didn’t play very much in the preseason matchup. At least Leinart didn’t have to watch Young drive his team down the field late for the win like he did in the 2006 BCS national championship or on this very field last Nov. 29 with a 99-yard drive for a 20-17 win.
"He felt excited about playing," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said of Young. "He was prepared, focused and made plays with his legs, made plays with his arm and was really good on the line of scrimmage as well."
Young has no competition for his starting job these days, and he was 9-for-13 for 128 yards. The former Texas star left after four series with a 10-0 lead, and he said the offense feels like it’s coming together.
"We’ve got to … keep working," Young said. "Don’t get happy with ourselves right now because we still have a long ways to go. But I feel the confidence in myself as well as the receivers is very good right now."
Leinart is trying to hold off Derek Anderson for the starting job in Arizona. Leinart, who starred for Southern California in college, was 4-for-6 for 28 yards but produced no points for a second straight preseason game. The Cardinals (1-1) went three and out on each of his three series, with the Titans blitzing and showing different looks on defense.
"I’m trying to work to get better," Leinart said. "Guys are counting on me, and I’m confident that we’re going to get the job done and I’m going to get the job done. And that’s the bottom line."
Young struggled a bit early, but completed three of four passes for 67 yards to set up Johnson’s TD run.
Titans 24, Cardinals 10
Ten-C.Johnson 8 run (Bironas kick), 5:40.
Ten-FG Bironas 29, 11:16.
Ari-FG Feely 19, 7:32.
Ten-Gado 4 run (Bironas kick), 5:00.
Ten-Gado 4 run (Bironas kick), 2:03.
Ari-Komar 22 pass from Hall (Feely kick), 7:43.
RUSHING-Arizona, Stephens-Howling 5-30, B.Wells 6-19, Wright 1-13, Hightower 5-3, Anderson 1-0, Graham 1-0. Tennessee, Blount 9-42, Ringer 7-27, C.Johnson 6-22, Hawkins 1-22, Gado 7-21, Young 1-10, Hall 1-0, Smith 2-(minus 2).
PASSING-Arizona, Anderson 11-19-0-105, Hall 7-15-1-101, Leinart 4-6-0-28. Tennessee, Young 9-13-0-128, K.Collins 6-12-0-66, Simms 2-5-0-17, Smith 3-5-0-16.
RECEIVING-Arizona, S.Williams 3-59, Komar 3-48, Breaston 3-23, B.Wells 3-13, Gant 2-28, Wright 2-6, M.Jones 1-12, Dray 1-11, Roberts 1-11, O.Jones 1-8, Mougey 1-8, Spach 1-7. Tennessee, D.Williams 4-40, Washington 3-44, Cook 2-34, Scaife 2-30, Ringer 2-7, Pfahler 2-6, Stevens 1-30, Mariani 1-10, Hall 1-9, P.Williams 1-9, Britt 1-8.
NFL Preseason Standings
Tennessee 24, Arizona 10
St. Louis at New England, 1:30 p.m.
Indianapolis at Green Bay, 2 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 1 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
San Diego at New Orleans, 2 p.m.
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 2 p.m.
Cleveland at Detroit, 11 a.m.
Cincinnati at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m.
N.Y. Giants at Baltimore, 1:30 p.m.
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay, 1:30 p.m.
Dallas at Houston, 2 p.m.
Tennessee at Carolina, 2 p.m.
Seattle at Minnesota, 2 p.m.
Arizona at Chicago, 2:30 p.m.
San Francisco at Oakland, 3 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Denver, 2 p.m.