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 during which they outscored the Raiders 21-0 in the third quarter.
Denver's Peyton Manning completed 30 of 38 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns, spreading the ball to eight different receivers.
In the third quarter, Manning threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Eric Decker and a 14-yarder to Lance Ball. Between those touchdowns, Willis McGahee, who rushed for 112 yards on 19 carries, scored on a two-yard run.
Through 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."
The Raiders, whose points came on two field goals by Sebastian Janikowski, are tied with Kansas City at 1-3 in the division. Denver (2-2) is one game behind first-place San Diego (3-1).
Oakland has a week off to contemplate its post-halftime issues. Then it's off to Atlanta and a passing offense on par with the Pittsburgh and Denver attacks that have thrown for a combined 722 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions against the Raiders the past two weeks.
As was the case in the Week 2 road loss to Miami, the Raiders were outplayed in the first half but were within reach at 10-6 at halftime. Janikowski made a 24-yard field goal near the end of the half 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 nine-play, 79-yard, drive in which Manning went 5 for 5 for 60 yards and the touchdown to Decker.
On the Raiders' next possession, defensive back David Bruton reached up and deflected a Shane Lechler punt it traveled two yards giving the Broncos the ball at the Oakland 18 and setting the stage for McGahee's two-yard touchdown 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.
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.
The Broncos finished 10 for 16 on third-down conversions, including 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 said. "We went no-huddle predominantly the whole game. The fans were rockin' today it was loud, and I assume that probably had an issue with some of Oakland's communication issues."
As a former teammate of Manning's in Indianapolis, Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler has seen the four-time MVP's 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."