AP Story: Titans Top Packers In Preseason Finale

The Titans pulled away from a 14-14 tie Saturday night, defeating the Packers 30-14 in the preseason finale. - More | Packers-Titans Gameday


Noah Herron

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans desperately want to roll into the season with some momentum. That means they take the preseason very seriously.

Vince Young threw for a touchdown and ran for another for a second straight week, LenDale White added 77 total yards, and they helped the Titans wrap up the preseason by beating Favre and the Green Bay Packers 30-14 Thursday night.

Tennessee (3-1) had its first winning preseason since 2002. Coach Jeff Fisher used this game as his dress rehearsal for the Titans' season opener at Jacksonville, playing most of his starters into the third quarter a year after going 1-3 in the preseason before an 0-5 start in the regular season.

"A lot of people keep saying preseason games don't count and this and that," Young said. "It counts to us. We want to continue to get better. We want to continue to keep working. ... We've got a long way to go. We want to continue using these games to get better and better."

Young was 11-of-16 for 96 yards, and White ran 15 times for 58 yards with a 19-yard reception. Rookie receiver Chris Davis added a 70-yard punt return for a TD that White said reminded him of suspended cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones. Rob Bironas kicked field goals of 51, 33 and 46 yards.

Brett Favre and the Packers (2-2) missed a chance for their best preseason finish since 2002. But Favre looked sharp and ready to roll into his 17th NFL season with some of his young teammates with a performance that drew a "Wow" from Young, who admitted he watched Favre rather than study the defense.

The Packers scratched 15 players, including receiver Donald Driver (foot) and both starting cornerbacks, Al Harris and Charles Woodson. What remained of the first-team defense left after one series, a three-and-out.

"The evaluation part of it, I thought we got a ton of information to draw from," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.

But Green Bay also had another running back injured.

Noah Herron, starting with Vernand Morency (knee) and rookie Brandon Jackson (concussion) out, sprained his knee after catching a 6-yard TD pass from Favre.

The three-time league MVP had lobbied hard to play more than the two-play series Favre was on the field in the Packers' final exhibition last year, in part to help him improve his chemistry with rookie receiver James Jones.

Favre played two series and left with a 7-0 lead, but he accomplished his goal. He and Jones hooked up three times, and Favre was 8-of-10 for 82 yards as the Packers rolled up 129 yards offense in the first quarter even while going no-huddle at times.

"A couple of reads I wish I had done something different," Favre said. "I got ahead of myself a little bit. Without watching the film, the first unit, the first two drives I thought we were fine except for a couple bad decisions I made."

The Titans wanted to maintain their offensive rhythm, and Young and White clicked on their third series. Going on fourth-and-1 at midfield, White solidified his hold on the starting job by breaking through for a 21-yard run with Packers Frank Walker and Tyrone Culver hanging on him the last 5 yards.

"It was a great call," Titans center Kevin Mawae said. "It was a long cadence to try to draw them offside and take what we can get. We turned something, just trying to get a yard or two and LenDale did a great job of finding the hole and turning it into something bigger."

Young tied the game four plays later with a 6-yard pass to Brandon Jones. He drove the Titans 10 plays on the next drive and scored on an 8-yard run after White cleared his path with a pancake block.

It was a bit of a makeup for Young, playing his first game before the home fans since wrapping up his rookie season. He was benched for the exhibition opener after breaking team rules by heading home to sleep the night before the game.

Young showed he still is prone to some mistakes.

Packers end Larry Birdine hit the quarterback on the Titans' first play of the third quarter, popping the ball loose. Rookie tackle Justin Herrell, a Tennessee native with about 40 family and friends in the stands, caught the ball in the air and ran 18 yards for a TD that tied the game.

"That was all me," Young said.

He answered by driving the Titans nine plays, setting up Bironas' go-ahead field goal.

The Titans made sure they got newly signed defensive tackle Corey Simon onto the field in the first half for a handful of snaps, and he even knocked Favre to the ground once.

"I just went out there, I studied my playbook the last couple of days I've been here and I've been able to grasp it pretty well," Simon said. "I just went out there and played."

Game notes

Titans tight end Casey Cramer had a mild knee sprain. ... The Titans went four exhibitions without the quarterbacks being intercepted and finished the preseason with 12 sacks. ... Green Bay rookie DeShawn Wynn played his first game after missing most of the preseason with a quadriceps injury. He ran 21 times for 54 yards. ... Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby didn't help himself much in trying to beat out incumbent Dave Rayner. He tried a 52-yard field goal that could have been good from 60 yards or longer, but was wide left. ... Atari Bigby had one tackle starting at strong safety for Green Bay in his fight to take the job away from Marquand Manuel, who was scratched.

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