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Broncos safety T.J. Ward: 'Keep us as the underdog'

The Denver Broncos heard all week how good Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. It burned.

Listening to critics predict a Patriots win in Denver got under the Broncos' skin, especially the defense.

"We just felt so disrespected. I felt disrespected," said corner Chris Harris Jr., via the team's official website.

"Me, too, Chris!" chimed in out Aqib Talib, standing few feet away.

No one played the disrespect card harder than safety T.J. Ward.

"We felt like we were totally disrespected by everybody in the media," he said after the Broncos' 20-18 win in the AFC Championship Game.

"I don't think I heard one telecast that had us winning, and as good as defense we've been playing all year that was the focal point-that Tom Brady was going to shred us apart," Ward continued. "We took total disrespect to that. Total disrespect. Besides the big plays at the end of the game, I think he had about 150 yards passing, got sacked five times, threw a pick and we dogged him. We dominated him. They're a great team, but we just don't like being disrespected. Nobody likes being disrespected. That's how we felt. We felt disrespected by the entire sports broadcast, everybody. We played like that today."

It's certainly true that most predicted a Patriots win. However, it's tilting at windmills to suggest no one believed the Broncos' defense stood a chance. Most analysts pointed to the Broncos' struggling offense and an injury to Harris as their reasoning for siding with the Patriots.

Facing the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl, Denver is ready to keep trumpeting the self-diagnosed inferiority complex. 

"Go ahead. We feed off of that," Ward said. "Keep us as the underdog (against) whoever wins (the NFC Championship). Tell us how bad we are and how we can't cover and stop 'this person,' and I bet we win the Super Bowl."

Facing a streaking Cam Newton and the one-loss Panthers, the Broncos might be the underdogs to begin the lead up to the Super Bowl. But with the NFL's No. 1 defense, led by pass rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, the idea that the Denver defense will be run over is ludicrous.

Two years ago, Broncos general manager John Elway watched the NFL's top defense destroy his team in the Super Bowl. He then went out and built himself a facsimile. No one will disrespect this Denver defense in the Super Bowl

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