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'It's going to be a great test for us': Broncos adopting internal focus ahead of prime-time matchup with NFC North-leading Lions

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Saturday's tripleheader of football games will feature the 7-6 Broncos and 9-4 Detroit Lions in its prime-time slot, providing more exposure and airtime for a Denver defense that has become one of the league's best in recent months and an offense that has found success in the passing and rushing attacks.

Does that exposure translate to more pressure? Perhaps, but safety Justin Simmons is embracing all that the prime-time stage brings.

"It's why you play the game," Simmons said of prime-time games. "You want to play in the big-time games. … Pressure is privilege. There's something great about having the opportunity to go up against the best teams in this league."

Aside from the national attention, Simmons underscored several factors that will make Saturday's game a challenge for the red-hot Broncos, from Detroit's recent run of success to the raucous Ford Field atmosphere.

In his eyes, that makes execution — including continuing to generate turnovers — even more of a priority. The Broncos will enter the matchup with a clear advantage in turnover margin this season, with a plus-six mark compared to Detroit's minus-six.

"For us to go down to Detroit, a team that has been on a crazy streak dating back to last season, it's going to be a great test for us, especially in a hostile environment, going into Detroit trying to find a way to win a ballgame there," Simmons said. "… We're going to have to pack our defense. We're going to have to find a way to keep generating takeaways."

Quarterback Russell Wilson also said it was important to embrace the prime-time stage and the chance to face off against a top opponent.

"The best thing that we can do is focus on each other, focus on what we've been doing really, really well," Wilson said. "And then I think ultimately too, embrace the moment. Don't run from it. … If you want to be the best one day and want to win a world championship and win multiple championships, you're going to play with some lights on and cameras around and people on the sidelines and everything like that, so get used to it. … We'll be ready to go."

For wide receiver Courtland Sutton, the Broncos' matchup against the Lions will be critical, but not for its prime-time slot or the quality of the opponent.

Instead, Sutton said he's approaching each game in this crucial upcoming four-game stretch on a week-by-week basis, and he's given his full attention to the matchup against Detroit.

"Each game is equally important," Sutton said. "We try not to put too much emphasis on certain games. The most important game is the game that's ahead of us, and right now it's this Detroit game. … [We need to] just show up and put our best foot forward, and if we do that, then I think we'll like the outcome at the end."

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