T.J. Ward and the Denver Broncos defense apparently had plenty of motivation entering Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.

A trip to the Super Bowl obviously was good for plenty of motivation, but the Denver defense also had plenty of ammunition from the media. Broncos safety T.J. Ward was very outspoken after the Broncos upended Tom Brady and the Patriots with a 20-18 win.

“We felt like we were totally disrespected by everybody in the media,” Ward told reporters after the game, according to NFL.com. “I don’t think I heard one telecast about us winning. And as good a defense as we’ve been playing all year, that was the focal point: that Tom Brady was going to shred us apart. So we took total disrespect (from) that. Total disrespect.”

There certainly was plenty of talk entering Sunday’s game about how Brady and the Patriots offense should be able to move the ball and score points against Denver. The Patriots did, after all, have a fairly full and healthy arsenal going into Denver. However, the Broncos pressured Brady more than anyone else all season and did a solid job against Patriots receivers.

“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,” Ward continued, per NFL.com. “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 (Sunday).”

Taking that sort of attitude into account, Broncos fans should probably be happy to hear the Carolina Panthers are favored to win the Super Bowl.

“Tell us how bad we are and how we can’t cover and stop ‘this person,’ and I bet we win the Super Bowl,” Ward said.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images