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Cassel Leads Patriots Past Raiders 49-26

This article is more than 10 years old.

Randy Moss pointed to his name on the back of his jersey after each touchdown catch, as if he needed to introduce himself to the fans who rarely saw that kind of performance in his two seasons in Oakland.

Moss caught two of Matt Cassel's career-high four touchdown passes in his first game against the Raiders since his trade to New England last season, leading the Patriots to a 49-26 victory Sunday.

Cassel's sterling performance just six days after the death of his father, Greg, kept the Patriots (9-5) in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East with Miami and the New York Jets. Cassel left the team briefly during the week to be with his family, but looked sharp Sunday.

The Raiders (3-11) fell behind 35-14 less than 18 minutes into the game, allowing the most first-half points against them since the merger in 1970. They also became the first team ever to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons, the latest low point in a long stretch of them.

That gave the fans plenty to boo about, from the ineptness of the home team to every touch by Moss or LaMont Jordan, who never fulfilled expectations during their time in Oakland.

Moss arrived with much fanfare after his trade from Minnesota in 2005, getting a police escort on his way to the introductory news conference. Yet he quickly soured in the toxic environment with the Raiders, forcing a trade to New England before last season.

Moss revived his career immediately, setting a record with 23 touchdown catches last season to go with 10 this season. Moss capped New England's second drive of the game by beating Rashad Baker to the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard catch before preening for the crowd.

He added a 9-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, pointing to his name once again. Moss finished with five catches for 67 yards. Jordan added a 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, bowing for the few fans who remained in the rain.

Sammy Morris had 14 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown for New England, and Kevin Faulk had 111 yards from scrimmage.

JaMarcus Russell went 17-for-31 for 242 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders. He also threw an interception deep in New England territory to end one scoring threat.

After seeing that the Dolphins and Jets both won their early games, the Patriots took little time to make sure they would keep pace, becoming the first team this season to score touchdowns on its first four offensive possessions. Cassel threw TD passes to Faulk, Moss and Wes Welker, with Morris also scoring on a 29-yard run.

Ellis Hobbs returned a kick 95 yards for another score, giving New England five touchdowns in the first 17:14 of the game.

The Raiders trailed 21-0 before recording their initial first down. After Justin Fargas' 1-yard run on third-and-1 was greeted with mock applause, the Raiders generated some real cheers on the next play when Johnnie Lee Higgins caught a short pass from Russell and went 56 yards for Oakland's second offensive touchdown in the first half all season.

The Raiders got another score when Justin Miller returned a kick 91 yards following Welker's touchdown, but that celebration was short-lived when Hobbs answered with his return. That was the third touchdown in a 28-second span.

This program aired on December 15, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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