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Broncos rout Raiders 37-6 behind Manning, McGahee

By Arnie Stapleton

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Sept. 30 2012 8:20 p.m. MDT

Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is helped up off the turf after taking a hit by the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, in Denver. The Broncos won 37-6.

Joe Mahoney, Associated Press

DENVER — Peyton Manning ruined Dennis Allen's homecoming Sunday when the Denver Broncos handed the Oakland Raiders their worst loss in this heated AFC West rivalry in a half-century.

Manning picked apart a secondary filled with backups, then walked off the field with a clean jersey and a smile a mile wide as the Broncos bounced back from back-to-back close losses with a resounding 37-6 rout of their archrival.

"Well, it was nothing more than an old-fashioned butt-whupping," quarterback Carson Palmer said after the Raiders' first loss in Denver in five seasons and their worst defeat in the series since Oct. 5, 1962, when they were humiliated 44-7 at old Bears Stadium.

Manning had his record-extending 65th 300-yard passing game, wasn't sacked, intercepted or hurried and threw three touchdown passes while controlling the clock and watching Willis McGahee record his 32nd 100-yard rushing game, tops among active NFL players.

"They outcoached us, they outplayed us, they beat us in every phase of the game," said Allen, Oakland's first-year coach who was Denver's defensive coordinator in 2011. "So, there's not a lot positive that you can take from it."

Allen pledged to use the upcoming bye week to evaluate everything from schemes to personnel.

"We've got to come up with a way to play better," he said.

Oakland was without its two best cornerbacks in Ron Bartell (shoulder) and Shawntae Spencer (foot), so Pat Lee started at left cornerback and Michael Huff moved over to right cornerback with Matt Giordano sliding into his spot at free safety.

Picking and poking with short crossing routes and screen passes against a depleted Oakland defense, Manning finished with 338 yards and three scores.

For the second straight game, he didn't throw an interception. Last week, he set a career high with 26 incompletions. This week, he threw eight, with 30 completions.

It proved too tough for the Raiders to face the four-time MVP without their top two cornerbacks.

"Well, it's hard to play against Peyton Manning no matter what," Allen said. "But we've got the guys that we have, and that's who we've got to go out and play with and we've got to play at an NFL level. And so we're not going to use injuries as a crutch."

The Broncos (2-2) gained 101 more yards than the Raiders (1-3) in the first half, but only led 10-6 going into the locker room, thanks to two big blunders: a Demaryius Thomas fumble after a 40-yard reception and kicker Matt Prater's misfire on a pass to left guard Zane Beadles on a fake field goal.

"Maybe give Manning-Stokley a chance before Prater-Beadles," Manning joked.

Thanks to those gaffes, the Raiders came out of the tunnel for the second half feeling fine.

"We were in good shape at halftime," said Lamarr Houston, who recovered Thomas' fumble. "We were in the game."

Not for long.

The Raiders were outscored 27-0 after the break, and the Broncos even didn't punt all afternoon — only the fifth time that's happened in franchise history.

"Nothing magic I could share with you," Manning said, when asked about Denver's quick start to the second half.

The Raiders gave up three TDs in the third quarter while going three-and-out three times. They failed to cover wide receiver Eric Decker on his 17-yard touchdown catch and nobody covered running back Lance Ball on his 14-yard scoring reception.

In between, McGahee rumbled in from 2 yards after David Bruton got a hand on Shane Lechler's 2-yard punt at the Oakland 18.

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