Leinart, Young stand out

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

Far away from the hype-fest in Philadelphia and the beating that the San Diego Chargers hung on the reigning champs, big-name rookies took some impressive baby steps in Week 5.

In Arizona, where Matt Leinart got the ball for the Cardinals, he threw for two touchdowns in his first quarter as a starter.

The Cards ultimately collapsed in a 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but Leinart's play was at least a nugget of good news for a team that could use some.

The other big-name quarterback from 2006 draft day, Vince Young, counted his first NFL score on a 19-yard TD dash to spark upset thoughts for the Tennessee Titans.

Young, the former Texas star, had his struggles, but his team nearly pulled off the shocker of the season, before losing by a point to the Indianapolis Colts.

And in New Orleans, electrifying running back Reggie Bush got his first score of the season, dashing to a 65-yard punt return for the winning score in the Saints win over the Bucs.

While Bush is playing on what is for now at least a winner, the fact that the two quarterbacks already are starters speaks either to them being quick studies or desperation of their employers.

TUNA WRAP

Bill Parcells never has been the most diplomatic coach, but a day after his Dallas Cowboys stinging loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the head coach attempted to play peacemaker.

First, the Tuna went to the corner of his beleaguered quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, saying his starting job isn't in danger. For now.

Then, Parcells stood beside temperamental wide receiver Terrell Owens, dismissing T.O.'s post-game rants, including one report that claimed he stormed into the Cowboys' dressing room screaming "why the bleep am I here."

"I'm not switching the quarterback," Parcells told reporters yesterday in Dallas despite the fact that Bledsoe was a sack and interception machine.

"I don't think that's the right answer at this minute. Let's try to get some of the things corrected (on the offensive line) and go from there."

AFC LEAST

That thud you heard was the bottom falling out of the AFC East.

Granted it was just a small sample size, but the division didn't exactly come out of the weekend looking large.

It started with the Buffalo Bills 40-7 mismatch loss against the Chicago Bears. Not much better was the Jets getting blanked 41-0 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Both games were over at the half -- the Bills trailing 27-0 and the Jets on the bad end of a 28-0 thumping. It's difficult not to imagine the Patriots running away with the division now, even though their offence struggled at times in a win over hideous Miami.

QUICK KICKS

The Indianapolis Colts may be one of the league's remaining unbeaten teams but with that run defence --the Titans rolled up 214 yards on Sunday -- they are a shadow of the team that flirted with an unbeaten season a year ago ... Does anyone really believe the Joey Harrington era in Miami began because of a minor injury to Daunte Culpepper? Or that it is going to end any time soon? Dolphins coach Nick Saban clearly is fed up with Culpepper and has handed the ball to the former Lion ... Speaking of Harrington, apparently he wasn't the only thing wrong in the Motor City where the Lions are 0-5 in the Jon Kitna era ... Don't look now, but at 4-1, the NFC West leading St. Louis Rams have the second best record in the conference.


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