Lyle Alzado scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone and Lester Hayes and Sam Seale returned interceptions for touchdowns as the Los Angeles Raiders overcame a sputtering offense for a 35-20 victory today over the New England Patriots.
The Raiders (2-2) won despite playing nearly half the game with third-string quarterback Rusty Hilger, a rookie. Jim Plunkett was out with a shoulder injury and Marc Wilson left the game after hurting his right ankle in the third quarter.
New England (2-2) led, 20-14, late in the third quarter when running back Craig James fumbled on his own eight-yard line. Raiders linebacker Rod Martin recovered it and fumbled into the end zone, where defensive end Alzado fell on it.
"I wish it could have been a little more glorious, but it was just falling on the ball," Alzado, 36, said of his first NFL touchdown. "If I ran 20 yards and broke four tackles, I could tell you a good story, but I just fell on it."
Los Angeles, which punted on 11 of its 15 possessions, capped its comeback on Seale's 38-yard interception return with 5:24 left. For the third straight game, New England scored only one offensive touchdown.