NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pairing Chris Johnson and Vince Young in the same backfield is turning into a very potent combination.
Johnson ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught nine passes for 100 more and the Tennessee Titans beat the Buffalo Bills 41-17 Sunday for their third straight victory.
The Titans (3-6) are on a roll since opening the season 0-6, and they can thank Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher and the league's first back to top 1,000 yards this season. They introduced him last, and he ran out carrying an American flag to a roar from the sold-out crowd.
Johnson quickly is becoming Young's favorite target whether he's tossing Johnson short passes or pitching to him off the option. Young also threw for a touchdown and finished with 210 yards passing in winning his seventh straight start. He also ran five times for 29 yards.
Buffalo (3-6) got Trent Edwards back and rookie Jairus Byrd picked off a pass in a fifth straight game. But the Bills lost their second straight.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was on hand and even sat next to a fan in the stands for part of the game, and he saw an exciting game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter.
Then Tennessee scored 24 consecutive points to blow out the Bills, and it was Johnson who provided the go-ahead TD with a punishing run. He ran into Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Bryan Scott at the line, then bounced out right and ran in easily for the 1-yard TD with 10:44 left.
Rob Bironas kicked his second field goal, a 51-yarder with 3:23 left. Then Vincent Fuller intercepted Edwards' pass at the 26 and ran it in for the TD. That prompted Titans owner Bud Adams to start dancing in his luxury box. Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced Edwards, and Rod Hood picked off a pass and ran 31 yards for the TD inside the final minute.
Tennessee finished with two sacks and the two interceptions, and the Titans outgained the Bills 378-296.
The Bills looked as if the bye week did some good on the opening drive, and the wildcat formation that didn't work before the bye against Houston did against Tennessee. Fred Jackson first ran for 2 yards, then took the snap again as he faked running into the line, stopped and tossed a 27-yard pass to a wide-open Lee Evans for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Titans answered with their dynamic duo.
Young threw a block against Reggie Corner, helping free Johnson to pick up a first down. Johnson later caught a short pass and hurtled a Bills defender to go 17 yards. A play later, Johnson ran 28 yards for his seventh TD rushing this season.
Young took his turn with a nice 38-yard pass to rookie Kenny Britt, starting with veteran Justin Gage out with a lower back injury. Young finished off with a 14-yard TD toss to Nate Washington for a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.
Young and Johnson teamed up to show the NFL how to run the option on their next drive. Young pitched out to Johnson, who ran 32 yards to set up a 38-yard field goal from Bironas for a 17-7 lead.
Terrell Owens, who had been yelling at coaches on the sideline, finally got involved for the Bills. Edwards found him for a 46-yard gain, then bowed to the fans yelling at him. That set up Edwards' 8-yard TD pass to Evans for the receiver's second TD of the day.