OAKLAND — The Oakland Raiders went out with a whimper Sunday, a patsy for the Denver Broncos in a 34-14 defeat at O.co Coliseum.
It was the sixth straight defeat and eighth in nine games for a team that at one point was hopeful of climbing into the playoff race. Instead, the Raiders finished 4-12 for the second season in a row and are waiting to see what changes owner Mark Davis might have in store.
Peyton Manning completed 25 of 28 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns as the Broncos took a 31-0 halftime lead, taking their foot off the gas once a 13-3 record and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs were secured. Brock Osweiler took over at quarterback for Denver in the second half after Manning's last touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the first half gave him 5,477 yards — surpassing Drew Brees' 2011 single-season NFL record by a single yard.
Trailing 34-0, the Raiders got two touchdown passes from Terrelle Pryor in the final 4:24, of 14 yards to Rod Streater and 9 yards to Nick Kasa.
Dennis Allen, scheduled to hold his usual 1 p.m. news conference today, said he expects to remain the Raiders coach and conceded his team was essentially outclassed by the Broncos.
"We got beat by a better team today," Allen said. "It was disappointing we weren't able to play better in the first half. We weren't able to get anything going, and obviously, that quarterback is really good."
Any chance the Raiders had of hanging with Denver rested with the offense doing some damage with Pryor as quarterback against a Broncos defense ranked 22nd coming into the game.
Instead, the Raiders' first five possessions were punt, fumble, punt, punt, punt, while the Broncos scored four touchdowns and a 34-yard Matt Prater field goal in five first-half possessions.
Manning's touchdowns were 3 yards to Eric Decker, 7 yards to Knowshon Moreno and 63 and 5 yards to Demaryius Thomas.
A poor snap by Stefen Wisniewski resulted in a lost fumble by Pryor out of the shotgun, giving Denver a short-field 21-yard drive for a touchdown that made it 14-0, and the crowd of 51,500 — much of it wearing Broncos orange — settled in for the inevitable.
"We got off to a hot start, the defense did a good job getting the ball back, and we did a good job on first and second down," Manning said. "Our defense did its part."
Allen took exception when asked if the Raiders gave the requisite effort.
"No question it was there," Allen said. "When you look at the tape, guys are flying around. We didn't make enough plays, but there was no lack of effort, there's no lack of trying. Watch the tape, because that's what the tape says."
Players in the locker room echoed Allen in terms of effort, which leaves poor execution and substandard talent as reasons for the Raiders' demise.
"It was disappointing from a record standpoint, but guys kept fighting," free safety Charles Woodson said. "I can't say we got better, because we didn't win any games down the stretch. It's like one of those paper bags you get at the grocery store and you have too much stuff in it and the bottom falls out. That's kind of what happened to us down the stretch."
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