Young's meltdown, Packers pack a punch, more Snap Judgments
Vince Young's career in Tennessee is all but over after Sunday's latest meltdown
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look on their way to much bigger and better things
Gary Kubiak can't be feeling too comfortable after how the Texans fell to the Jets
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Musings, observations and the occasional Week 11 insight as we take in the NFL's premier rivalry, Colts versus Patriots, with its ultra-glamorous undercard of Manning versus Brady ...
Vince Young is toast in Tennessee. That has to be it for the Titans' 2006 first-round pick, doesn't it? There's really no way back for the Young era in Nashville after Sunday's career-worst meltdown in the wake of the Titans' damaging 19-16 overtime loss to Washington.
Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher said after the game that Young had already lost his job as the Titans' starter, thumb injury or no thumb injury. But it has to go further than that, because if you keep Young on the roster, you might have to use him, given the banged up state of Tennessee's quarterback depth chart. And there's no way you can insert Young into a game at home. Not any more. Not after Sunday.
A frustrated Young threw his shoulder pads into the stands as he left the field, and there were some reports of him allegedly tossing his helmet toward the fans as well. According to Titans sources, he engaged in a shouting match with teammate Michael Griffin in the postgame locker room and wound up shoving the Titans safety. Young quickly left the locker room in street clothes, with Griffin, wearing only shorts, chasing him into the players' parking lot.
Young was booed heavily at times during the first half, and at one point waved both hands at the fans as if telling them to keep it up and to pump up the volume. He tore a tendon in his throwing thumb in the second half and was replaced by rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who finished the game and will now be prepared as the starter for next week's game at Houston. Young may require season-ending surgery, and if so, it's safe to assume he's played his last game in a Titans uniform.
With three straight losses after their hopeful 5-2 start, the Titans are in freefall at 5-5. They remain in the playoff race in the muddled AFC South, but only because all four teams are tightly bunched together.
Veteran Kerry Collins is still at least another two weeks away from being healthy enough to play, so Smith will likely have to handle Tennessee's starting QB job in the interim. Young has had his maturity issues in the past, but this time he has likely forced Tennessee's hand with his childish behavior in front of the hometown fans. It's a textbook self-inflicted sacking.
The NFL's 2010 season has sent us a confusing set of signals on a weekly basis, but at least there's clarity as of Week 11 when it comes to the NFC North: Brett Favre and the Vikings are undeniably done, while Aaron Rodgers and the Packers look on their way to much bigger and better things.
Green Bay's dominating 31-3 victory at Minnesota should serve to put the Vikings out of their misery and launch the Packers into whatever passes as the elite class in the NFC. Fittingly, it was Rodgers over Favre that brought down the curtain on Minnesota's two-year reign in the division, because that particular quarterback question has loomed over everything in the NFC North for at least three years now.
Rodgers and the Packers are 7-3, riding a four-game winning streak and looking more all the time like the team that went 7-1 in last season's second half. But as good as the Green Bay offense has looked of late, its defense has been even better. In the Packers' past three games, they've given up 0 points to the Jets, 7 to the Cowboys and 3 to the Vikings. Ten points in three games. The Green Bay offense has totaled 85 points over that same span, averaging more than 28 points per game.
After getting swept by the Vikings last season, Green Bay and Rodgers avenged those bitter losses quite nicely this season. The Packers won 28-24 in Week 7 at Lambeau Field, then blew out the reeling Vikings by four touchdowns on Sunday in the Metrodome. Rodgers threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in the win, giving him 596 yards passing, six touchdowns and just two picks against Minnesota this year.
As for Favre, Sunday was likely the last meaningful game of his 20-year NFL career, and he went out with a whimper (17-of-38 208 yards, one interception and no touchdowns) rather than a bang.
At 3-7, with his Vikings having lost a combined three games to division co-leaders Green Bay and Chicago (also 7-3), Minnesota head coach Brad Childress should use the remaining six games to find out if backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is the team's logical replacement for No. 4. Letting Favre play out the string only furthers the mistake Minnesota made to begin with when it coaxed him back to town this summer.
The other variable in that scenario, of course, is whether Childress himself will get to finish the season with the Vikings. Sunday's ugly home loss could be the tipping point that prompts owner Zygi Wilf to relieve Childress of his duties, officially ending what has been a lost season in Minnesota.