The Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots twice this season — in Week 12 of the regular season and in the AFC Championship Game — en route to earning a date with the Carolina Panthers this Sunday in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium.
That’s been lost on some, according to Broncos cornerback Chris Harris.
“We beat the champs twice,” Harris told reporters Monday at Super Bowl Opening Night. “Nobody cared, I guess. … I do feel like we deserve more credit.”
The Patriots, of course, entered this season as the defending champs after beating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. It looked like New England might navigate its way back to the big game, especially during the Patriots’ early-season success, but Denver had other ideas. The Broncos held on for a 20-18 win over the Patriots in the conference title game Jan. 24 despite entering as the underdogs.
“We know defense wins championships,” Harris said, per WEEI.com. “All week everyone counted us out. They said I couldn’t cover (Julian) Edelman, they said we couldn’t cover their receivers and their tight ends or whatever. We held them to 18 points. That is the No. 1 offense in the league and we shut them down.”
“We definitely were angry,” added Harris, whose Broncos beat up Tom Brady all day with a Super Bowl berth on the line. “Everybody said we couldn’t cover (the Patriots receivers). We wanted to come out and prove that we could. They still made a couple of plays, but at the end of the day they only had 18 points.”
The Broncos face another tall task this weekend, as the Panthers — owners of a 15-1 record during the regular season — rolled through the NFC. Denver clearly is used to feeling disrespected, though.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images