OAKLAND, Calif. (Aug. 26, 2005) -- Randy Moss made a quick exit, skull cap covering his tight braids and giant headphones over his ears as he left the locker room.
Moss finally scored his first touchdown for the Raiders, and it almost seemed he didn't know what to do when it happened.
A wide-open Moss caught a 40-yard TD pass from Kerry Collins, but the Raiders remained winless in the preseason with a 17-16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
"He's a beast. We're expecting a lot of big things from him," teammate Warren Sapp said. "He's just getting a little warm."
After a casual trot into the end zone, Moss hesitated briefly before celebrating by slapping high-fives and offering hugs to Oakland's raucous fans. Then, he joyously ran along the sideline while being greeted by a throng of teammates.
"You know the fans were waiting to explode, waiting for that to happen," Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson said.
Arizona linebacker Eric Johnson intercepted a high pass from Marques Tuiasosopo that deflected off the hands of John Paul Foschi and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown that put the Cardinals ahead with 9:04 to play.
Kurt Warner played three quarters and went 11-for-18 for 118 yards, a touchdown and one interception, facing constant pressure from a defense determined to make a name for itself after ranking 30th last season. The Cardinals overcame 13 penalties for 100 yards.
The game featured only two offensive touchdowns. Warner had his share of words for the offensive line during the game.
"We're continuing to work on our pass protection," said Warner, who was sacked three times. "We took some shots, but got some things done down the field. It was more miscommunication than anything. We've got to all be on the same page."
Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski kicked field goals of 35, 24 and 38 yards, but missed from 41 yards with 3:11 left. Moss finished with two catches for 46 yards, reaching the end zone for the first time since the superstar receiver joined the Raiders in a March trade with Minnesota. He had three catches for 34 yards in the first two games -- losses to San Francisco and Houston.
"It was good to get him deep," Collins said. "We're going to do that a lot this year."
Collins played into the third quarter, completing 17 of 25 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown for a 103.6 passer rating. But the Raiders struggled to move the ball against the unbeaten Cardinals and Collins was sacked four times.
Moss, facing his former Vikings coach, Arizona's Dennis Green, easily beat the defense to score. But Oakland gave up a TD pass on the Cardinals' next possession, a 22-yard strike from Warner to Aaron Golliday.
"It's the first time Randy has played any significant amount of time," Green said. "Because of the pressure we put on them, they didn't have time to get the ball to him a lot more. He's fast, he's explosive, he can go get the ball."
Raiders receiver Ronald Curry played for the first time since tearing his right Achilles' tendon in early December. He made three catches for 24 yards.
"It feels real good to be back," he said. "The offense got going a little bit in the first half. I'm trying to pick up where I left off."
Oakland gave up a safety on the first play of the second quarter when defensive end Chike Okeafor batted away the ball from Collins for a fumble, then the ball went off the leg of right tackle Robert Gallery and out of bounds.
The Cardinals scored again on a 77-yard drive capped by Neil Rackers' 21-yard field goal for a 5-3 lead. Arizona led again 11-10.
Sapp, virtually silent in his first season with the Raiders, sacked Warner for a 6-yard loss on Arizona's first series and also batted down a pass.
"That's one of the things we tried to emphasize in the offseason -- getting guys in there who can get to the passer," Woodson said. "We've got a couple guys who can do that."
- Doug Gabriel missed the game a day after the Oakland receiver had surgery on his left middle finger that could sideline him for a month. Gabriel, a third-year pro who caught two touchdown passes in a 19-17 preseason loss Aug. 20 at Houston, had a procedure Aug. 25 to insert a pin in the finger.
- Cardinals running back and return man J.R. Redmond dislocated his left shoulder and is expected miss four weeks. He fumbled the punt following the Raiders' first drive of the game and recovered, but was hit hard by Kirk Morrison.
- Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald left with a right knee strain and DT Darnell Dockett sustained a rib injury. Oakland receiver John Stone banged up his right shoulder.
The Associated Press News Service
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