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O'HARA'S WEEK 16 CHECKLIST: Lions at Broncos

David Blough has felt some of the joy and carried a lot of the weight that goes with the territory in his three weeks as the Detroit Lions' starting quarterback.

The weight and self-analysis that comes from trying to break a seven-game losing streak – the last three with Blough as the starter – leaves a longer lasting impression than the joy.

Winning a game – some how, some way – is the only way to remove the weight.

The Lions are running out of chances to break the streak and feel the joy that is the payoff from winning. They have Sunday's road game against the Denver Broncos and the season finale with the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

If the Lions aren't in desperation mode to win a game, they're close to it.

"Everybody around here needs it," Blough said this week. "We want to go out there and give everything we have for the city. We know everybody's supporting us.

"We in here want to stick together and do that for one another. We've got a great opportunity to just go and compete this week. That's the goal every week we take the field."

Blough had a crushing moment in last week's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Lions had rallied from a 21-0 deficit to trail 24-17 and had possession at the Bucs' 35-yard line with a little more than five minutes left in the game.

Blough's pass, meant for wide receiver Danny Amendola, was intercepted by Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and returned 70 yards for a touchdown. The Bucs added a late TD, but the interception return was "the dagger," as Blough said in his postgame press conference.

Blough's had some exhilarating moments – the 75-yard TD pass to wide receiver Kenny Golladay on his second pass in his first start being one of them.

Watching last week's interception on video was a horror show, with Blough knowing the ending.

"It hurt as a player," Blough said. "The opportunity we were in, you can't do that as a quarterback. It makes your stomach turn a little bit. I was laying in bed at night, you think about things like that. You want to correct it, see what you did wrong.

"You don't let it happen again."

Series history: The Broncos have a 7-5 series lead and won the most recent meeting, 24-12, at Ford Field. That broke a two-game losing streak to the Lions by scores of 44-7 in 2007 and 45-10 in 2011.

2015 game rewind: The 24-12 defeat was the third straight in what became a five-game losing streak. Quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 282 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. He was sacked four times, and the Lions were held to 28 yards rushing on 19 carries. Peyton Manning threw two TD passes with one interception for the Broncos.

Broncos focus – OLB Von Miller: It would be a mistake – one the Lions aren't likely to make -- to look at Miller's statistics for this season and take him lightly as a pass-rush threat.

With seven sacks, Miller is likely to finish with the second lowest total of his career, ahead of only the five sacks he had in nine games in 2013.

Miller's stature was reflected in him being voted to the Pro Bowl as a starting outside linebacker. It's Miller's sixth straight Pro Bowl and eighth in his nine-year career.

Miller's reputation may have garnered some votes, but what he still shows on the field plays a larger role. Miller is still quick off the ball.

Meet this week's opponents, the Denver Broncos.

"When you watch tape, and especially, obviously, at home with the crowd and everything like that, his 'get off' is unbelievable," said Lions head coach Matt Patricia. "One of the things he takes a great advantage of is the cadence.

"He does a great job of getting off the ball. He's got a variety of moves, and you see on tape a lot of teams try to do different things to take him away."

Double teams aren't guaranteed to keep Miller off the quarterback.

"He does an unbelievable job of defeating one, and then getting by the second," Patricia said. "He's still a very, very dangerous player coming off the edge."

Prediction: Rookie quarterback Drew Lock gave the Broncos a spark by winning his first two starts. His 309 yards passing in an impressive road win over Houston in his second start were a season high for the Broncos.

There should be no turning back for the Broncos after turning to Lock as their starter for the present and future. With their final two games at home, they can improve on their 5-9 record and head into the offseason feeling good about something.

Pick: Broncos 23, Lions 19.

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