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Mile High Morning: Broncos counting on home-field advantage for prime-time clash against Vikings

The Lead

In the Broncos' last appearance at Empower Field at Mile High, Denver played its best home game of the season and captured a resounding 24-9 win against the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs.

The Broncos will have another challenge in their return to their home stadium on Sunday when they face the Minnesota Vikings in prime time. Each team has a winning streak of at least three games, and a Broncos win would provide a major boost to their postseason chances and record.

Head Coach Sean Payton said Thursday that he expects the home crowd to factor into the outcome of the contest.

"Our atmosphere has been great," Payton said after practice on Thursday. "… This game at home and having a home crowd is significant. We're looking forward to that. It looks like the weather is going to be good. We are going to count on that crowd noise and all the things you gain when you play at home."

Quarterback Russell Wilson views the opportunity to play again at home as added motivation for "Sunday Night Football."

Wilson has played some of his best football of the season at Empower Field at Mile High, throwing 11 touchdowns and only one interception in five home games this season. After a close win against the Packers and a convincing victory over the Chiefs in the Broncos' past two home games, Wilson believes that a focused mentality will help Denver stave off complacency and continue playing at a high level.

"We've got to play great in front of our fans," Wilson said. "Obviously, to come home after a great road win with all of our fans coming to Buffalo, and then coming home in front of Broncos Country, it matters. Hopefully, we can continue to stay focused on one play at a time, on one practice at a time and one game at a time."

Below the Fold

The 33rd Team's Marcus Mosher took a look at six players who could be breakout candidates during the second half of the 2023 season, and Broncos outside linebacker Baron Browning made the list.

"Browning is In his third year, but he is still raw," Mosher wrote. "To date, he only has 386 career pass-rush snaps, most of which came during the back half of the 2022 season. Each week, his confidence grows as a rusher, and it's clear he has a knack for getting to the quarterback."

For more of Mosher's review of Browning, click here.

The Unclassifieds

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