PHILADELPHIA -- It seems wherever Randy Moss goes, chaos is bound to follow.
The internal implosion within the Tennessee Titans' locker room that some had been forecasting following Moss' Nov. 3 acquisition has indeed come to fruition, although the controversial wide receiver can hardly be blamed for the state of pandemonium that followed the fading playoff contenders' potentially-devastating 19-16 home loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Nope, this tidal wave of upheaval that threatens to destroy a season in the land of country music that just a few weeks ago looked to be on the brink of something special falls squarely on the shoulders (or shoulder pads) of Vince Young, who's in turn sabotaging a career that once contained boundless promise with his continued petulance and immaturity.
The Titans lost Sunday's game in part because Young wasn't physically able to play for most of the second half and the entire overtime segment, having injured the thumb on his right throwing hand on a third-quarter pass attempt. Mentally, however, he was as good as done by that point anyway.
The notoriously hypersensitive quarterback was clearly frazzled by a chorus of boos from a home crowd unhappy with Tennessee's sluggish offensive performance throughout the contest, at one point waving his arms to the fans in a mock taunt. After the game, Young tossed his shoulder pads and jersey into the stands to further emphasize his disapproval.
His childlike behavior apparently didn't stop there, with The Tennessean reporting that Young walked out of the Titans' locker room following a heated verbal confrontation with head coach Jeff Fisher and abruptly left the stadium.
While Fisher refused to discuss the specifics of the exchange, he did reveal that Young would no longer be the team's starting quarterback going forward, setting the stage for a very interesting standoff in the weeks and months to come. Owner Bud Adams is a known Young supporter, and there's an urban legend that the aging oil tycoon mandated the Titans select the former University of Texas superstar with the third overall pick of the 2006 draft against Fisher's wishes.
If Fisher has his way -- and a coach with his distinguished credentials and record of service has unequivocally earned that right -- Young will never play another down for the Titans again. That seems to at least be a good possibility for this season regardless, as it was acknowledged afterward that the two-time Pro Bowler tore a flexor tendon in his thumb that may require year-ending surgery.
Statistically, Young is having the best season of his checkered five-year career, as the talented 27-year-old entered the Washington game with an impressive 97.6 quarterback rating and had thrown just three interceptions in his nine starts. However, there have been rumors that the Titans' brass had begun to grow tired of his perceived questionable work ethic and casual attitude, and Sunday's episode did nothing to dispel Young's reputation of having a lack of leadership skills.
While Young's future has been hurled into limbo, the Titans' present is beginning to appear rather bleak. With capable veteran Kerry Collins out for the time being with a calf injury, Tennessee will be entering a critical stretch of four straight divisional games with Rusty Smith -- a seventh-round rookie draft choice who completed just 3-of-9 passes with an interception after being forced into duty on Sunday -- as the top candidate to direct the offence.
The Titans have now lost three straight games to fall to 5-5 on the season and into third place of a very challenging AFC South division.
As for Moss' former team, the Minnesota Vikings, there's little debating that they've symbolically waived the white flag on a season gone horribly wrong with Sunday's shameful 31-3 home loss to the rival Green Bay Packers.
Now 3-7 and four games out of a playoff spot with six to play, the question isn't if head coach Brad Childress will be handed his walking papers by owner Zygi Wilf, but rather when. The bigger -- and far more intriguing -- mystery is whether or not Brett Favre will still be under centre as the massive underachievers play out the string of what's been an utter nightmare of a 2010 campaign.
Favre was awful once again this week, hitting on a substandard 17-of-38 throws for 201 yards and an interception, and there's really no logical recourse to keep trotting out a 41-year-old with a bum ankle and elbow who'll almost certainly (or as certain as we can be when it comes to Favre) be living it up on his Mississippi estate at this time next year. Other than the fact the Vikings ponied up $16 million to lure the legendary quarterback back for one more desperate try at an elusive first world title for the organization, and there's that streak thing as well.
The prudent move would seem to be giving Childress prodigy Tarvaris Jackson another audition to see if the toolsy but erratic one-time starter really does have what it takes to be a legitimate NFL starting quarterback, or maybe even to see what the team exactly has in raw rookie project Joe Webb. Then again, making rational choices hasn't exactly been the mantra of this year's Vikings.
One thing's for sure, when it comes to Favre or the 2010 Vikes, it'll definitely remain interesting.