Texans see what a pass can do

Times Staff Writer

As Vince Young danced his way for a 20-yard touchdown run Sunday, Houston fans got a glimpse of what might have been.

When Young later completed a 20-yard touchdown pass en route to a 28-22 Tennessee victory over Houston, Texans quarterback David Carr sat on the sidelines -- benched because of poor play.

That’s the same David Carr who the Texans thought was good enough that they didn’t need to draft Young.

Young, who is from Houston, was drafted by Tennessee, where he was made the starting quarterback four games into his rookie season and a month later led the Titans to a victory over the hometown team that passed him up at the NFL draft this year.


“It means something to me, my family and all the fans back home in Houston, but at the same time, it meant the most here,” Young said. “The Tennessee Titans wanted to get another victory coming off the bye.”


Winds of change

Offensive coordinator changes in Cleveland and Baltimore led to victories for both teams Sunday.

In Baltimore’s 35-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Coach Brian Billick handled the play calling after firing Jim Fassel two weeks ago.

Cleveland promoted offensive line coach Jeff Davidson to replace fired Maurice Carthon, and the Browns responded with a 20-13 victory over the New York Jets.

Both changes sparked a couple of struggling running backs as Baltimore’s Jamal Lewis and Cleveland’s Reuben Droughns each had 100-yard games.

Before Sunday, Lewis, a 1,000-yard rusher in four of his five NFL seasons, had only 357 yards in six games and Droughns, a 1,200-yard rusher each of the last two years, had only 257 yards in five games.

“It felt like old times,” Lewis said.

The Ravens benefited from a defense that returned two interceptions for touchdowns, plays Billick jokingly took credit for calling.

“I particularly like the play calls of the two interceptions for touchdowns,” he said. “Those are the hard ones to call.”


Actions speak louder

The subplot in the game between Atlanta and Cincinnati was supposed to be between Bengals receiver Chad Johnson and Falcons defensive back DeAngelo Hall.

But other than Johnson coming onto the field wearing the nametag “Ocho Cinco” -- a choppy Spanish version of his No. 85 -- and a minor physical entanglement early in the game, the months of pregame trash-talking between the two didn’t amount to much.

Johnson, who promised two touchdowns, had only one among his six catches for 78 yards. Hall, who threw Johnson to the ground on the first play of the game, had only two solo tackles.

Before the game, Johnson promised to shave his mohawk if Atlanta won. Atlanta won the game, 29-27, so now we’ll find out whether Johnson is all talk.


Blowin’ his Horn

Joe Horn became the Saints’ all-time leader in touchdown catches when he hauled in a 32-yard scoring pass -- his 49th -- against Baltimore. The previous team-record holder was Eric Martin.


Troubled receiver returns

Oakland receiver Jerry Porter made his season debut Sunday, catching one pass for 19 yards in a 20-13 victory over Pittsburgh.

Porter had been inactive for the team’s first four games, then he was given a four-game suspension by the team for insubordination. That suspension was cut in half this week.

“I just made a decision, a coach’s decision,” Coach Art Shell said. “He caught a big pass for us. He did OK. I have to watch the tape, but he made one big play and I’m very happy with that.”

Porter declined to talk with reporters after the game.


Bush league

When the Saints lost, 35-22, to the Ravens on Sunday, it was their second loss of the season -- a relatively new experience for Reggie Bush, who hadn’t lost twice in a season since his senior year of high school.

He had another new experience when he threw a pass on a halfback option and it was intercepted.

Bush attempted three passes while at USC, completing one for a 52-yard touchdown in 2004. Neither of the other two was intercepted.

Bush left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle but said he didn’t expect to sit out a game.


Dangerous game

Head linesman John McGrath left the game between Pittsburgh and Oakland late in the first quarter because of what appeared to be a right leg injury.

McGrath was hurt while signaling Oakland’s Ronald Curry down by contact after he made a catch and the ball popped loose. McGrath was helped off the field and examined on the Pittsburgh sideline. The game continued with six officials instead of seven.


Injury report

Linebacker Willie McGinest left in the fourth quarter of the Browns’ victory over the Jets because of an ankle injury.... Cleveland guard Joe Andruzzi left the game because of an injured right knee and didn’t return. Coach Romeo Crennel said Andruzzi won’t need surgery.... Carolina cornerback Ken Lucas left Sunday night’s game against Dallas because of a groin injury.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Going to great lengths

Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning on Sunday became the second quarterback to pass for more than 35,000 yards in 135 NFL games or fewer. Manning (35,254 yards in 135 games) trails only Dan Marino, who reached 35,000 in his 134th game. Quarterbacks to reach 35,000 yards in the fewest games:

*--* Quarterback Team(s) Years Games Dan Marino Miami 1983-1991 134 Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998-2006 135 Drew Bledsoe New England, Buffalo 1993-2003 145 Brett Favre Atlanta, Green Bay 1991-2001 147 Warren Moon Houston 1984-1994 147 Dan Fouts San Diego 1973-1985 149