Dyson has big game against former team


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By TERESA M. WALKER AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Compared with the Tennessee Titans and their quarterback problems, Chad Pennington looked plenty healthy.

Pennington, returning from two shoulder surgeries in as many years, threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns to lead the New York Jets to a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

The Titans had trailed 16-0 until Travis Henry tied the game, rushing for two fourth quarter touchdowns within five minutes of each other. His 1-yarder with 5:58 left came one play after Pennington was sacked and fumbled.

Pennington needed seven plays to take back the lead after Justin Miller's 41-yard kickoff return, going ahead on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Chris Baker with 2:10 left.

Tennessee had one last chance and drove down to the Jets 8. But Kerry Collins missed tight end Bo Scaife in the end zone on fourth-and-6 with 35 seconds to go.

This opener matched teams that went 4-12 in 2005 and came into this season with questions about quarterback.

Pennington played only three games last season before hurting his right shoulder. He beat out three others to keep his starting job and couldn't have looked much better.

The Titans didn't announce their starter until 90 minutes before kickoff, and gave the job to Collins, who opened his 12th NFL season with his fifth team. Rookie Vince Young also played a series.

Andre Dyson, who started his career in Tennessee, intercepted each of them. The Jets ended three of four Tennessee drives with interceptions and had two sacks.

The Jets could have avoided all the late drama if only kicker Mike Nugent had been better. He missed an extra point and a 34-yard field goal, then bounced a 30-yarder off the right post.

Without Pennington, the Jets had the next-to-last ranked offense in the NFL in 2005. He picked apart the Titans and helped the Jets pile up 393 yards of offense.

Kevan Barlow scored for New York on 1-yard run two plays after a Titans' interception was overturned by a defensive pass interference call in the second quarter.

A sellout crowd didn't waste any time sharing its anger early, booing Collins when he replaced Young and alternately chanting for Young and Billy Volek, the quarterback who lost his starting job when the team signed Collins on Aug. 29.

Collins, starting 13 days after being signed to a one-year contract, looked out of synch early and often with several balls sailing out of bounds and at least three batted down. His receivers didn't help with a couple drops. He finally clicked in the fourth quarter when he went 4-of-6 for 56 yards in setting up Henry's first TD run.

He finished 17-of-38 for 223 yards.

Young made his NFL debut in the second quarter, entering with 8:55 left to a round of cheers. The No. 3 pick overall out of Texas looked like an immediate improvement over Collins as he completed his first three passes and moved the Titans to the Jets 29.

Then he came up short on a pass to Givens, which Dyson picked off.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-09-10-06 1451MDT

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