DENVER -- The Raiders hit the quarter point of the season Sunday with the third-quarter blues.
The Denver Broncos broke a four-game home losing streak to their AFC West rivals with a 37-6 victory at Sports Authority Field during which they outscored the Raiders 21-0 in the third quarter.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning completed 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards with touchdown passes of 22 yards to Joel Dreessen, 17 yards to Eric Decker and 14 yards to Lance Ball, and Matt Prater had field goals of 21, 43 and 53 yards.
The TD throws to Decker and Ball came in the third quarter, as did a 2-yard run by Willis McGahee, who finished with 112 yards on 19 carries.
The whole notion of halftime adjustments is either eluding the Raiders coaching staff or falling on deaf ears among the roster. In four games, the Raiders have been outscored 55-7 in the third quarter.
"I'm not sure exactly what that is, but we've got to get it figured out because we haven't played well in the third quarter," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "We've got to find a way to come out in the third quarter offensively and keep the rhythm going, convert some third downs so we can even up the time of possession."
At 1-3, the Raiders are tied in the division with Kansas City, while Denver, 2-2, is a game back of first-place San Diego.
Oakland has a week off to contemplate its post-halftime issues before heading to Atlanta. The Falcons passing offense is on
As was the case in the Week 2 road loss in Miami, the Raiders were outplayed in the first half but within reach at 10-6 on a 24-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal with 22 seconds remaining after Carson Palmer's third-down pass to David Ausberry fell incomplete at the goal line.
The Raiders opened the second half with the ball and went three-and-out, which gave way to a 79-yard, nine-play drive with Manning going 5 for 5 for 60 yards and hitting Decker for the touchdown.
On the Raiders' next possession, David Blount reached up and deflected a Shane Lechler punt -- it traveled 2 yards -- setting the stage for McGahee's 2-yard TD run.
After another three-and-out, Manning took the Broncos 63 yards in five plays, throwing to Ball for the touchdown and a 31-6 lead, delighting the hometown fans.
The Broncos finished 10 for 16 on third-down conversions and 4 for 4 in the third quarter. The Raiders were 1 for 12 overall and 0 for 4 in the third quarter. Allen called the disparity the most disappointing aspect of the loss.
"My plan was to play fast," Manning
Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler was disappointed but, as a former teammate of Manning in Indianapolis, has seen this act before.
"I guess they made some great adjustments," Wheeler said. "That's usually what Peyton Manning does, though. He comes out in the second half, makes adjustments, and he's just Peyton."
Palmer, who was 19 of 34 for 202 yards, cited Oakland's opening possession of the third quarter as crucial.
"They're a very good football team and if you don't stay on the field on offense and you go three-and-out like we did in the third quarter, you just dig yourself a hole," Palmer said.
Defensive lineman David Tollefson, a member of two New York Giants championship teams, warned against assigning too much blame to one phase of the game.
"We've got to learn that everybody helps each other," he said. "(Each unit) will make mistakes, but another group, another phase, needs to pick the slack up. We're keeping the offense off the field and keeping ourselves on the field. You're not going to win games in the league this way."
While Allen was downplaying his return to the place where he was defensive coordinator last season, the Raiders were hoping to get a win for him.
"D.A. deserved this one," fullback Marcel Reece said. "He deserved that feeling of beating a past team. We didn't get it for him. I guess the only silver lining is we'll see them again."
Third isn't a charm
Here are the scores at halftime and after the third quarter for the Raiders' first four games:
Week 1 vs. San Diego
Halftime After third
Chargers 10-6 Chargers 16-6
Week 2 at Miami
Raiders 10-7 Dolphins 21-10
Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh
Steelers 17-14 Steelers 31-21
Week 4 at Denver
Denver 10-6 Denver 31-6