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INTERCONFERENCE

49ers Beat Winless Raiders, 34-20

October 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

Arnaz Battle caught two touchdown passes from Alex Smith, and the 49ers overcame Randy Moss' 100th career touchdown reception with a strong second half in a 34-20 victory over the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday at San Francisco.

Frank Gore rushed for a career-high 134 yards and third-string running back Maurice Hicks scored on a 33-yard screen pass for the rebuilding 49ers (2-3) as they rebounded from last week's 41-0 loss at Kansas City.

They also overcame a halftime deficit against the Raiders (0-4), who added another discouraging loss to their streak of 10 straight.

"It's big to win the Battle of the Bay, but it's bigger to get our season back on track," said Battle, who had just three touchdowns in his previous 36 NFL games.

Walt Harris made three of San Francisco's four interceptions, and the 49ers scored 24 straight points after halftime to roll past the Raiders in the franchises' 11th regular-season meeting.

"We're improving almost every week, and I think this is just the start," Harris said. "You can see us learning and getting better. We've had a lot of adversity, and we continue to work."

The 49ers also won for offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who spent the last two years as Oakland's head coach. Turner's game plan worked well against his former Raiders, wearing down the defensive front with steady rushing before completing a handful of big passes.

"I'm human, and I really [know] that the team always comes first, but there are personal things that come in, and it feels good," said Turner, who got the game ball.

at Chicago 40, Buffalo 7: The Bears ruined Dick Jauron's homecoming with an offensive performance like he never witnessed during five years as their head coach.

The stifling defense was pretty impressive too.

Rex Grossman threw two touchdown passes, Cedric Benson scored his first two NFL touchdowns and the Bears forced five turnovers in a 40-7 drubbing of Jauron's Bills that launched Chicago to its first 5-0 start since 1986.

Robbie Gould aided the cause with four field goals, improving to 17 for 17 for the season, as the Bears ran their scoring margin through five games to 156 points scored and 36 given up.

Tough defense was the Bears' trademark during Jauron's tenure, but a shaky offense kept Chicago out of the playoffs every season but 2001. His teams managed 30 points just four times in five years, and never more than 37.

at Carolina 20, Cleveland 12: Julius Peppers had a sack, forced a fumble and hit quarterback Charlie Frye five other times and Richard Marshall returned an interception for a touchdown for the Panthers.

Al Wallace also had a sack for Carolina (3-2), which held the Browns to 98 yards rushing in winning its third straight game.

Frye completed 26 of 43 passes for 173 yards and two interceptions, the last by Mike Minter at the Carolina 14 with two minutes left that iced it.

The Browns (1-4) played without both of their starting cornerbacks.

Gary Baxter missed his third straight game with an injured chest muscle, and Leigh Bodden was scratched after spraining his ankle in last week's win over Oakland.

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