OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders showed the Arizona Cardinals how to hold on to an early 14-point lead.

Andrew Walter threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, ReShard Lee ran for a 1-yard score in the first quarter and the Raiders overcame five turnovers to win their first game of the season, 22-9 over Arizona on Sunday.

After leading 14-0 after the opening quarter only to lose the previous two games, the Cardinals (1-6) found themselves on the other side of the equation this week. Despite getting plenty of help from Oakland (1-5) with the two interceptions and three fumbles, the Cardinals lost their sixth straight game.

Moss had his biggest game of the year even though he had a few drops, catching seven balls for 129 yards to help Oakland end an 11-game losing streak dating to last season.

Arizona coach Dennis Green threw a podium-pounding tantrum after his team blew a 20-point lead to lose 24-23 to Chicago last Monday despite getting six turnovers from the Bears. Green fired offensive coordinator Keith Rowen after the collapse but the team fared little better under new coordinator Mike Kruczek.

Rookie Matt Leinart was 13-for-32 for 203 yards and two interceptions to lose his third career start, Edgerrin James ran for 34 yards on 13 carries and Arizona could only manage three field goals from Neil Rackers.

Walter earned his first career win by outplaying Leinart, the player the Raiders passed on in the draft because they believed Walter was their quarterback of the future. Walter, who left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter, finished 17-for-30 for 263 yards.

Michael Huff, the player the Raiders took instead of Leinart, tackled Marcel Shipp in the end zone for a safety. Derrick Burgess added two sacks and deflected a pass that was intercepted by defensive lineman Terdell Sands to lead Oakland’s defense.

With starting running back LaMont Jordan on the sideline with a back injury, the Raiders rode Walter’s arm to put together their most complete offensive performance of the season. Justin Fargas ran for 77 yards on 24 carries.

The Raiders got off to a quick start, moving the ball with ease in the opening quarter against the Cardinals. After a fumble by Zack Crockett ended the opening drive, Oakland drove for the first score following a missed 49-yard field goal by Rackers.

Walter avoided the pressure to complete a 32-yard pass to Moss on third-and-21 and converted a third-and-13 later in the drive on a 16-yard pass to Ronald Curry. Those passes – two of Oakland’s five conversions on third and more than 10 yards – led to Lee’s 1-yard leap into the end zone.

After Sands’ interception gave the Raiders the ball at the Arizona 32, Walter went deep on the next play, connecting with Moss on the score that made it 14-0.

The Raiders tacked on a pair of field goals by Sebastian Janikowski and a safety to become the NFL’s last team to win a game.

Walter did turn the ball over twice in the opening half, fumbling to set up Rackers’ 29-yard field goal that cut the lead to 17-3 and then throwing an interception in the final minute of the half with the Raiders driving for another score.

AP-ES-10-22-06 1937EDT


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