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To The Moon: Raiders Top Seahawks


Seattle's Warren Moon completed his first 17 passes Sunday night. The 18th was intercepted by Oakland's Albert Lewis, who returned it 74 yards for a touchdown.

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  • saved the best for last," said the 38-year-old Lewis, a 16-year veteran who became the oldest player in NFL history to score on an interception.

    The surprising Raiders showed why they're the NFL's No. 1 defensive team, recovering four fumbles -- along with Lewis' interception -- in a 31-18 win over Seattle, their fifth straight victory.

    "Any time the ball gets tipped in the middle of the field, usually bad things happen," Moon said of the interception that went off tight end Christian Fauria's hands.

    The Raiders (6-2), who have 13 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries, had four takeaways in the second half as they overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit.

    "With the defense that we have, we just need to make sure we don't make mistakes on offense," Oakland receiver Tim Brown said. "It's hard for team to drive a long ways against our defense."

    Oakland,

    Warren Moon
    Warren Moon was perfect in the first half. (AP)
    which was 4-12 last season, a record which resulted in the firing of coach Joe Bugel, is in second place in the AFC West behind Denver (8-0).

    "It fell right into my hands," said Lewis, whose first TD on an interception gave the Raiders a 21-10 lead 4:45 into the second half.

    The Raiders have won six of seven since losing their opener in Kansas City.

    "We were eight and two in 1995, but do you know what we ended up? Eight and eight. We need to get better," Oakland running back Napoleon Kaufman said.

    "We've got a lot of football left," said first-year Oakland coach Jon Gruden, who spent the last three seasons as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator.

    The Raiders go their final touchdown after Seahawks punt returner Ronnie Harris was hit by Mike Morton and fumbled. Oakland's Kenny Shedd returned it to the Seattle 1 and Oakland scored with 10:56 left when guard Darryl Ashmore got into the end zone after recovering a fumble by teammate Jon Ritchie.

    "I don't know if someone got a hand or a helmet on the ball," said the little-used Harris, who was active for the second time this season. "The hardest part is letting your teammates down in a critical situation."

    Said Ashmore: "The ball was lying on about the half-yard line. I picked it up and fell into the end zone."

    Greg Davis' 35-yard field goal 12 seconds into the fourth quarter made it 24-18. Darrell Russell had sacked Moon, causing a fumble and Grady Jackson recovered at the Seattle 28. Oakland had to settle for the field goal when Brown dropped a pass by Donald Hollas in the end zone.

    Two plays after Hollas completed a 47-yarder to James Jett, he found tight end Rickey Dudley in the end zone to give the Raiders a 14-10 lead.

    After Lewis scored Oakland's second TD in a span of 2:38, the Seahawks (4-4) came right back on a 1-yard leap by Ricky Watters that barely got him over the goal line on fourth down. A 2-point conversion pass from Moon to Mike Pritchard cut the lead to 21-18.

    Moon was 16-for-16 in the first half for 139 yards. His last pass of the opening half was a 1-yarder to tight end Carlester Crumpler for a touchdown.

    Hollas gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead when Brown beat Willie Williams for a 28-yard touchdown. Todd Peterson kicked a 38-yard field goal when Sattle's opening drive bogged down at the Oakland 20.

    Hollas, starting his third straight game in place of injured Jeff George, was 12-of-22 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

    Moon was 29-of-39 for 275 yards and one TD with an interception and two lost fumbles.

    Notes

  • The Seahawks lost starting center Kevin Glover on the fifth play of the game with a pinched nerve in his back. He originally hurt himself in practice last Wednesday. The Seahawks replaced him with rookie Jason McEndoo , just off the practice squad for his first NFL game, but then moved guard Pete Kendall to center and brought in Andrew Greene to be Kendall's replacement at guard. Kendall said it was the first time he'd played center since he was 9. "I had to snap the ball two-handed then," he said.
  • Moon broke Jim Zorn's team record of 15 consecutive completions against Cleveland set Oct. 12, 1980, in Seattle.
  • Crumpler's five receptions were his first of the season.
  • Brown, who caught four passes for 74 yards, became the Raiders' career-yardage receiving leader with 9,028. He broke the old mark of 8,974 set by Raiders coach Fred Biletnikoff.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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