Bair and Smith: Step back for Pryor, Raiders' offense
Peyton Manning completed 32 of 37 passes for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns Monday night. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
UPDATE: (9:05 p.m.) -- Terrelle Pryor and Tracy Porter both sustained concussions, the Raiders announced following the game.
DENVER – Raiders coach Dennis Allen said there was a formula for beating the Denver Broncos. He didn’t declare variables or how tall the task might be.
On Monday night, Allen’s Raiders couldn’t solve for X. The Broncos dominated from the start and defeated the Raiders 37-21 at Sports Authority Field.
The Raiders had no answer for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who led the team to a quick 17-point lead. The Broncos cruised to victory and killed opposing momentum at every turn.
The Broncos responded to the Raiders first two touchdowns with points of their own, keeping the silver and black at a distance. The third came when Denver had the game in hand.
Manning had three touchdowns in the first half, when the Raiders' offense struggled to do anything at all. The Broncos had 10 points before Oakland recorded a first down.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor didn’t play bad. He had a career-best 281 yards passing to go along with a touchdown pass. The young quarterback remained composed under heavy duress, without rushing lanes on the outside.
Pryor was the main source of offense because the NFL’s best run defense shut Darren McFadden down. Oakand came into the game with the league’s best run game, and left with just 49 yards on 17 carries.
The Raiders offense had its moments, but they couldn’t put a dent in Denver’s lead. That’s because the Broncos offense couldn’t be stopped. They registered 534 yards of total offense. Manning had another strong day. He completed 32-of-37 passes for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Pryor can’t finish: Terrelle Pryor went to the locker room in the game’s closing minutes, clearly shaken up after a big hit delivered by Broncos middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard. His injury was not immediately disclosed.
On 2nd and goal from the Denver 6, Pryor lost two yards on a designed run, and took a thunderous shot. He stayed in the game and delivered a 7-yard pass to Rod Streater on 3rd down, and his 4th down pass to Denarius Moore was broken up for a turnover on downs.
After coming to the sideline, Pryor was taken to the locker room and backup Matt Flynn finished the game.
McFadden shut down: The Raiders running back failed to build on a 129-yard rushing performance against the Jaguars. McFadden couldn’t get the No. 1 rushing offense going early, which hurt the Raiders’ ability to create manageable third downs. He struggled, and the Broncos proved why they’re the NFL’s best rush defense.
All told, McFadden had 9 yards on 12 rushes. He did score a touchdown in garbage time.
Peyton breaks NFL record: Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning set an NFL record with 12 touchdown passes through the Broncos' first three games. Equally impressive: he’s done all that without throwing an interception.
He broke the record with his 12th, a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Julius Thomas. It was his third touchdown of the first half.
Manning shredded the Raiders defense throughout the game with near-surgical efficiency.
Moore’s big catch: Denarius Moore gave the Raiders hope in the second quarter with a 73-yard touchdown reception. He caught a nice pass from Pryor, juked his defenders and sprinted downfield for a touchdown that cut Denver’s lead to 10.
The effort was wasted by the defense, who allowed the Broncos to negate the touchdown with one of their own on the following drive.
After playing the Jaguars without a catch, Moore had 6 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown.
DMC throws a touchdown pass: The Raiders used a bit of trickery to record their second touchdown. McFadden took a pitch from Pryor, ran right and threw an arching 16-yard pass to fullback Marcel Reece.
At long last, a takeaway: The Raiders hadn’t recorded a takeaway in two games. Lamarr Houston finally forced one with a sack-fumble in the third quarter. Jason Hunter returned it 12 yards, and the Raiders cashed in with their second touchdown of the night.
Mike Jenkins picked up a second turnover with a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
Injury update: Denver has not treated Tracy Porter well. He suffered a head injury and did not return to the game, the same place where he suffered a seizure as a Bronco that cost him most of 2012.
Brice Butler also suffered an arm injury in the fourth quarter.
Sitting it out: Rookie linebacker Sio Moore was inactive after suffering a concussion on Sunday in a car accident. The incident occurred just before the Raiders were scheduled to leave for Denver.
Moore said he would play, but did not pass concussion-related tests mandated by the NFL.
In addition to Moore, the Raiders rendered quarterback Matt McGloin, guard Lucas Nix, offensive tackle Menelik Watson, offensive lineman Antoine McClain, safety Tyvon Branch and receiver Juron Criner inactive.
Denver cornerback Champ Bailey missed his third straight game with a foot injury.
What's next: The Raiders start a two-game homestand on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, who are off to a horrible 0-3 start. They lost a 27-20 decision to the visiting Detroit Lions Sunday.
It’s a winnable game for the Raiders, as is the following contest against the San Diego Chargers.
The key is to forget about Monday’s events and move forward.