4

How Will a Concussed Kurt Warner Fare Against a Seemingly Sane Vince Young? All Signs Favor the Cards in This One

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Despite suffering a concussion against the Rams last week in St. Louis, Kurt Warner is slated to make his 42nd consecutive start Sunday against the Titans in Tennessee.

 

Before having his brain rattled at the end of the first half, Warner had himself a hell of a game against the struggling Rams. Frankly, despite a few glitches, including lobbing up five interceptions to the Panthers a few weeks ago, Warner looks like anything but a 39-year-old quarterback in the twilight of his career.

Father Time has thrown for 2,718 yards so far this season -- about 1,600 more than the league average for quarterbacks.

This, in part, is due to the unleashing of the Cards recent air assault and the team switching to a more pass-oriented offense.

In contrast, Titans quarterback Vince Young seems to have quelled his emotional woes and is starting to play like the guy that ran for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns in the 2006 Rose Bowl as Texas rolled over USC and a collegiate Matt Leinart.

After he was drafted, Young spent a little more than two seasons "adjusting" to the NFL. The first quarterback picked in the draft that year, Young didn't exactly live up to his collegiate hype and even considered quitting football after the disappointment left him emotionally unstable.

He lost his starting spot to an aged Kerry Collins, who took the Titans to a league best 13-3 record in 2008.

Young's career seemed to be heading the same direction as the Cards Leinart -- who also didn't play as well in the pros as he did in college and who also got stripped of his starting job from him by a veteran in the twilight of his career. That being Warner, who, like Collins, had bounced around the league almost as frequently as Vinny Testaverde.

This season, Young seems to have kicked the crazy and is starting to play like the energetic quarterback who, in college, reminded people of a young Donovan McNabb.

Since coming back as the Titans' full-time starter, Young has had four consecutive wins, despite Tennessee's dismal 0-6 start.

Last week, Young gave the Houston Texans a taste of what his legs are capable of, when on Monday night he ran for 73 yards with six of his 11 carries being for first downs.

The man to watch, and the reason Young's abilities on the ground are even more of a factor, is Titans running back Chris Johnson, who has already surpassed his rookie season's 1,228 total yards.

The Cards rush defense has remained -- to put it politely -- inconsistent, and depending on which version shows up Sunday, the combination of Young and Johnson could be trouble for the Cards

The Titans have their own troubles on defense, and by troubles we mean the team has the worst pass defense in the league. That, in our humble opinion, will be the difference in the game.

Assuming Warner is the starter and the Cards aren't relying on Matt Leinart, and the "hey- just-don't-fuck-this-up" passing game, the Cardinals -- in the air -- are one of the best teams in the NFL and should cruise past Tennessee to go 6-0 on the road.

This is the Cards' first trip to Tennessee. The last time the teams met was in 2005, when the Cards beat the Titans 20-10.

Kickoff is at 2:15 p.m. and while Warner is the expected starter, depending on his recovery, a Matt Leinart appearance is not out of the realm of possibility. All we can do at this point is pray that Kurt's brain is back and that Leinart holds his deserved spot behind the clipboard.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.