"Everything is possible," Young said, moments after his 10-yard final-second touchdown pass to Britt finished off a 99-yard touchdown drive and the NFL's latest Game of the Year. "You've got to believe that, and our confidence level is definitely very high on that."
"I don't think this is a team that needs to be pumped up anymore," receiver Nate Washington said.
They did, however, need those 99 yards, and the way they got them says a lot about where Young is in his development. Johnson, who earlier in the game ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run and tied an NFL record held by Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell with his sixth straight game of at least 125 rushing yards, did not touch the ball once on the final drive. And Young, whose legs have been an essential part of his game since college (and the dramatic 2006 BCS championship game in which he and the Texans Longhorns beat Matt Leinart -- who, yes, did start for the Cardinals on Sunday -- and the USC Trojans), would run the ball just once. Of the 18 plays on the final drive, 16 were passes by Young. One was a run by him and the other was a sack.
"It was hard," Young said of not running the ball. "It takes a lot of patience, a lot of confidence. Their defensive line was spying two guys on me on the inside, and so we couldn't do that anyway."
So he sat in the pocket and started throwing. Six yards to Britt, who was looking like the goat after fumbling away the ball on Tennessee's previous drive. Two incompletions, and then a clutch 10-yarder to Britt on 4th-and-4 to keep the game alive with 1:36 to go. From his own 17, then, came the lucky play that every big drive seems to need. A pass over the middle that was deflected by Calais Campbell looked certain to be intercepted and then, somehow, was caught by tight end Bo Scaife for a 19-yard gain and another first down.
"That ball looked like it was headed for the opponent's hands," Young said. "And all of a sudden Bo came out of nowhere. Tremendous, the focus level Bo had to make that catch. Much love to him for that."
Much love, but much more work -- 64 yards -- to go. Young got back behind center and found Lavelle Hawkins, who hadn't caught a pass all year prior to this game, for two yards. Then, as if he weren't looking deep enough down the depth chart for his targets, he hit tight end Jared Cook for 12 on the next play, moving the ball to midfield. After the game, Young said he has confidence in his seldom-used receivers because he knows they're hungry for the ball.
"When you have an offensive coordinator like (Mike) Heimerdinger, who's crazy, and who drinks a lot of Diet Cokes every day, you don't have any choice but to want to make plays," Young said. "When that guy's in your face and challenging you the way he does all of us every day in practice, you want the ball."
The crowd at LP Field began to feel it. If they weren't believers already, they were begging Young to push them over the edge. He threw incomplete to Washington on first down, ran six yards on second and missed Scaife on third, setting up the drive's second fourth down, with 43 seconds left, from the Cardinals' 44-yard line. And then he found Hawkins, again, for 13 yards and another first down.
"We're on a journey now, and it's going to be tough," Washington said later. "But we're all on it. Together. That's every guy on the roster. We don't know what's going to happen, but we do know we're going to keep fighting until the clock hits zeroes. We're not going to quit."
Can this happen? It didn't look good when Young and the Titans took their second-to-last timeout with 11 seconds left and the ball on the 10-yard line. And when the third-down pass to Washington fell incomplete, it looked even more bleak. Six seconds remained. Fourth down again. One play to decide whether the dream of 10-in-a-row could live another week. Jeff Fisher called a timeout, Heimerdinger sent in a play. They lined up and Arizona called a timeout. So back to the sidelines went Young, where he and Heimerdinger got to talking.
"Our last play, basically, it wasn't in the game plan," Fisher said. "Mike and Vince kind of drew it up in the dirt, if you will."
The Titans went back out. They lined up differently than they had prior to Arizona's timeout, but then they motioned back into their original formation. Young took the snap, dropped back and saw Britt in the far left corner of the end zone, running back along the end line toward the middle of the field. He remembered the last thing Heimerdinger had said to him -- "High," meaning, throw it up there and let Britt, the former basketball star, out-jump everybody and make the catch.
And he did.
"Wonderful thing for Kenny to fumble there early and then come back and make that play," Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "It speaks volumes for what he's all about."
Britt still had the ball with him when he left the stadium hours later. He hugged it close to his side and said he'd put it down only for a shower. He was proud he made the catch, but he also seemed obviously proud, as all of these Titans do, of what they're a part of right now.
"We've got a young team that's mentally into the game," Britt said. "We're maturing every week that we go out and play a game."
Can this happen? Can these Titans keep it up? The math starts to look almost reasonable. With Jacksonville's loss, all these Titans needed Sunday night was a Roethlisberger-less Steelers team to lose to the Ravens, and all of a sudden they'd be one game out of a playoff spot. This is a team that was over. Done. They were 0-6, and no team had ever even won their next three -- let alone their next five, six or 10 -- after starting 0-6. Worse, the Titans looked, that day in New England, as if they'd flat-out quit. But they hadn't.
"The coaches never gave up on it," Britt said. "And that's a real big thing. No matter how bad it got, they were telling us it wasn't over. When your coaches believe in you like that, that's huge."
Something's going on here with these Titans. It's about a rare combination of youth and confidence coming together at the right time. Nobody in the league wants to play them right now. Nobody in the league is doubting them.
"This is do-or-die for us, every game," Scaife said.
Can this happen? Can they keep winning? Can they go into Indianapolis next week and knock off the undefeated Colts?
Try telling the Titans they can't.