OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Art Shell gathered his team the night before the game and told his players they needed to find some swagger.
Nothing like a visit from the hapless Arizona Cardinals to do the trick.
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.
“It’s a weight off everybody’s shoulders to get a first win,” Shell said. “I’m most happy for the guys in the locker room. It’s not about me. It’s about those guys in the locker room. They’ve worked very hard to get some taste of success.”
The win snapped an 11-game losing streak and ended the growing talk of a possible winless season for the Raiders (1-5), who found all sorts of ways to lose in previous weeks.
“By no means does this set our season on a pedestal,” defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. “We’ve still got to go out and get some more wins.”
And now there’s a new contender for worst team in the NFL in the Cardinals, who have lost six straight.
Arizona blew 14-point leads after the first quarter the previous two weeks, including a 20-point second-half lead a week ago to Chicago when the Bears won 24-23 despite committing six turnovers.
“I can’t believe that we’re sitting at 1-6. But we are,” coach Dennis Green said. “Absolutely this is my fault. It’s my job to make sure the ship is being ruddered the right way.”
Last week’s collapse led Green to throw a podium-pounding tantrum and fire offensive coordinator Keith Rowen. But Arizona 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.
After years of success in Indianapolis, James is struggling in his first season with the Cardinals. He has 89 yards on 49 carries the past two weeks and has yet to top 100 yards in a single game and is now questioning his decision to leave the Colts.
“I wasn’t prepared for this, man, I really wasn’t,” he said. “I don’t know what we’re doing now.”
Moss had his biggest game of the year despite a few drops, catching seven balls for 129 yards to help Oakland end an 11-game losing streak dating to last season.
But the biggest key was the defense, which put constant pressure on Leinart and shut down James.
Michael Huff, the player the Raiders took instead of Leinart in April’s draft, 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.
“We’re going to enjoy it,” cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. “We got our win. … You have to enjoy it because in this league wins are tough to come by so enjoy it while you have a chance.”
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.
Leinart looked nothing like the player who became the first NFL quarterback to throw two first-quarter touchdowns in his first two starts.
“He was flustered,” safety Stuart Schweigert said. “His eyes were wide open. He was throwing the ball away real quick.”
With starting running back LaMont Jordan out with a back injury, the Raiders rode Walter’s arm to take the early lead.
They moved the ball with ease in the opening quarter. 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 the safety to become the NFL’s last team to win a game.
Former Raiders coach John Madden received his Hall of Fame ring in a pregame ceremony. … Arizona WR Anquan Boldin caught his 300th career pass in the third quarter in his 47th career game, making him the fastest player to reach the mark, besting Lionel Taylor’s record of 54 games. … The Raiders have intercepted six passes this season, one more than they had all of 2005.