It has happened sooner than planned, and Young is making the most of his opportunity.
Young caught his second touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford on a 1-yard slant with 20 seconds left, lifting Detroit to a 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
“Matthew trusted me all day, and he gave me a perfect opportunity to make a play at the end,” Young said. “I wanted do that for everyone on the team, but I especially wanted to do it for Nate.”
Stafford, the former UGA star, finished 34-of-49 for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
Burleson broke his right leg in Monday night’s loss at Chicago, pushing Young up the depth chart. Burleson sent a motivational message to his teammates on offense that was shown on video Saturday night.
Young caught a go-ahead TD midway through the second quarter and finished with nine receptions and 100 yards receiving — both career highs — in a breakout performance that didn’t surprise Detroit coach Jim Schwartz.
Young needed to make the second TD catch after Zach Miller had a spectacular, 16-yard snag on a toss from Russell Wilson with 5:27 left that put the Seahawks ahead.
But Seattle (4-4) couldn’t stop the Lions (3-4) on their last possession.
“We’re disappointed that after that terrific drive, we couldn’t finish it off the way we wanted to,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “We didn’t get the stops on third down.”
In other action:
GIANTS 29, COWBOYS 24
ARLINGTON, Texas — Lawrence Tynes kicked two of his five field goals in the fourth quarter and Eli Manning and New York pulled out a win after blowing a 23-point lead.
The Giants overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win for the 20th time in Manning’s career.
New York (6-2) led 23-0 just two minutes into the second quarter when defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned an interception 28 yards for a TD.
That was the third interception thrown by Tony Romo, and was among the six turnovers by Dallas (3-4).
The NFC East-leading Giants didn’t score again until Tynes kicked a 43-yard field goal with 10:20 left for a 26-24 lead. He added a 37-yarder after Stevie Brown recovered a fumble.
STEELERS 27, REDSKINS 12
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers turned Robert Griffin III into just another rookie quarterback, swarming Washington’s precocious star in a dominant win.
Griffin completed just 16 of 34 passes for 177 yards and a score while managing 8 yards rushing.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had no such issues.
He threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers (4-3) won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Jonathan Dwyer added 107 yards rushing in his second NFL start.
Pittsburgh jumped on Washington (3-5) early, scoring on its first four possessions and never letting Griffin get loose.
PATRIOTS 45, RAMS 7
LONDON — Tom Brady led touchdown drives on the first five possessions and New England cruised at Wembley Stadium.
The Rams looked ready to put up a fight when Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens with a 50-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive.
But Brady cut through the St. Louis defense at will to give New England a 28-7 lead by halftime, then hit Brandon Lloyd for a 9-yard score to start the third
COLTS 19, TITANS 13 OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Andrew Luck threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Vick Ballard at 4:49 of overtime.
The Colts (4-3) did it with Luck leading a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives.
The top pick overall in April’s draft set up Delone Carter’s 1-yard TD run that tied it up at 13 with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter.
In overtime, Ballard capped the drive, taking a screen pass and going up the left side for the TD.
The Titans fell to 3-5.
BEARS 23, PANTHERS 22
CHICAGO — Robbie Gould kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to rally the Bears.
The Bears trailed 19-7 in the fourth quarter when the game turned in a big way.
Chicago (6-1) took over on the Carolina 38 after Brad Nortman shanked a 6-yard punt, and Jay Cutler connected with Kellen Davis on a 12-yard scoring pass with just under seven minutes left.
Then, on Carolina’s next play, Steve Smith slipped on a pass pattern and Tim Jennings returned his second interception of the game 25 yards for the go-ahead score.
Cam Newton drove the Panthers to the Chicago 27, and Justin Medlock’s 45-yard field goal hit the right upright and went through to put Carolina (1-6) ahead 22-20 with 2:27 remaining. Medlock had five field goals.
On the winning drive, Cutler, the former Vanderbilt standout, moved the Bears 55 yards to the 23 to set up Gould’s winning kick, which sent the Panthers to their fifth straight loss.
PACKERS 24, JAGUARS 15
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers went back to an old favorite, connecting with Donald Driver on a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers threw two touchdowns, passing Bart Starr for second place on Green Bay’s all-time list, and Dezman Moses gave the Packers their first touchdown on a blocked punt in almost 22 years.
But Green Bay (5-3) had a surprisingly tough time with the NFL’s worst team, which lost its fourth straight.
DOLPHINS 30, JETS 9
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Matt Moore stepped in for an injured Ryan Tannehill and Miami rolled to its third straight victory.
Moore threw a touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano, Olivier Vernon recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown and blocked a field goal, and the Dolphins smothered Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ offense Sunday.
Sanchez was 28 of 54 for 283 yards with a touchdown and interception.
RAIDERS 26, CHIEFS 16
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Carson Palmer threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and Oakland stuffed struggling Kansas City for its sixth straight win at Arrowhead Stadium.
Sebastian Janikowski was perfect on four field-goal attempts, for the Raiders (3-4).
BROWNS 7, CHARGERS 6
CLEVELAND — Rookie Trent Richardson rushed for 122 yards and scored a touchdown in the Browns’ soggy, wind-whipped win.
Richardson, pulled last week at Indianapolis when he was ineffective because of a rib injury, carried 24 times as the Browns (2-6) won their second straight game at home — and first for new owner Jimmy Haslam.
Richardson scored on a 26-yard run in the first quarter and the Browns were able to hang on despite not generating much offense in blustery, rainy conditions.
The Chargers (3-4) dropped their third straight.
San Diego had a final chance, but quarterback Philip Rivers’ pass was batted away by Browns cornerback Buster Skrine with 1:24 left.
Rivers finished 18 of 34 for 154 yards.
BRONCOS 34, SAINTS 14
DENVER — Peyton Manning shook off a bleeding right thumb after banging it on an opponent’s helmet to throw for 305 yards and three scores to lead the Broncos to the victory on Sunday night.
It was Manning’s fifth straight 300-yard game, setting a franchise record for Denver (4-3).
and matching his personal best.
The Broncos gained 530 yards against the Saints (2-5), who came in with the NFL’s worst defense.
Denver held Drew Brees and the league’s top-ranked passing offense to 213 yards passing in Joe Vitt’s debut as interim coach after serving a six-game suspension for the team’s bounty scandal.
STARS & STATS
Tom Brady, Patriots, finished 23 for 35 for 304 yards and four touchdown passes in New England’s 45-7 win over St. Louis. Brady joined Brett Favre (72), Peyton Manning (67) and Dan Marino (62) as the only NFL players with 50 games of at least three TD passes. It was also the 50th 300-yard passing game of his career.
Matthew Stafford, Lions, was 34 for 49 for 352 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception in Detroit’s 28-24 win over Seattle.
Matt Ryan, Falcons, was 22 for 29 for 262 yards and three touchdown passes in Atlanta’s 30-17 win over Philadelphia.
Andrew Luck, Colts, finished 26 for 38 for 297 yards and a TD and interception in Indianapolis’ 19-13 overtime win over Tennessee. Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, has led the Colts to a 4-3 record, the highest winning percentage (.571) by a rookie QB who was a No. 1 overall pick through Week 8 in NFL history.
Stevan Ridley, Patriots, had 15 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown in New England’s 45-7 win over St. Louis.
Trent Richardson, Browns, had 24 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland’s 7-6 win over San Diego. Richardson has five touchdowns rushing, the most by a Browns’ rookie in the team’s first eight games since 1969 (Ron Johnson, five).
Darren McFadden, Raiders, finished with 29 carries for 114 yards in Oakland’s 26-16 victory over Kansas City.
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers, finished with 17 carries for 107 yards in Pittsburgh’s 27-12 win over Washington.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, had 12 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown in Seattle’s 28-24 loss to Detroit.
Jason Witten, Cowboys, finished with 18 catches, tied for third most in NFL history, for 167 yards in Dallas’ 29-24 loss to the New York Giants.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, had eight receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 45-7 win over St. Louis.
Miles Austin, Cowboys, had nine catches for 133 yards in Dallas’ 29-24 loss to the New York Giants.
Julio Jones, Falcons, had five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta’s 30-17 win over Philadelphia.
Steve Smith, Panthers, finished with seven catches for 118 yards in Carolina’s 23-22 loss to Chicago.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars, had eight catches for 116 yards in Jacksonville’s 24-15 loss to Green Bay.
Dez Bryant, Cowboys, had five catches for 110 yards in Dallas’ 29-24 loss to the New York Giants.
Titus Young, Lions, had nine catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns in Detroit’s 28-24 win over Seattle.
Tim Jennings, Bears, returned one of his two interceptions 25 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s 23-22 win over Carolina.
Greg Hardy and Louis Murphy, Panthers, Murphy recovered a fumble for a touchdown and Hardy had three sacks in Carolina’s 23-22 loss to Chicago.
Jason Pierre-Paul and Stevie Brown, Giants, Pierre-Paul returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown and Brown had two interceptions and a fumble recovery in New York’s 29-24 win over Dallas.
The Packers’ 24-15 win over Jacksonville was their third straight win and the 16th in their past 17 games at Lambeau Field. ...
The Panthers have lost five straight, while the Jaguars and Chiefs have dropped four in a row. ...
The Chargers have dropped three straight. The Eagles have also lost three in a row and also lost after a bye for the first time in 14 games under coach Andy Reid since 1999. ...
Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee has made 20 straight field goals, tying Mike Hollis’ franchise record. ...
The Colts have beaten Tennessee in seven of eight overall and seven of the past 10 in Nashville. ...
Jets linebacker Bart Scott had his streak of 119 consecutive games played end because of a toe injury that has bothered him since the previous time the teams played in Week 3.
“We’re 7-0 over here, baby. If I was over there now, they have to go to work.”
— Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel on his former team, the Eagles, after Atlanta’s 30-17 win over Philadelphia (3-4).