The Broncos are trying to feed off the underdog role, and rightfully so, but they might have a problem.
The Panthers still think they’re the underdog.
Even though they’ve lost once all year and entered the week as a five-point favorite, the Panthers remain convinced no one believes in them either.
“You can’t take that chip off our shoulder,” Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson said with a grin. “That’s something that’s permanent.”
It’s worked for them so far this season, as no one thought they’d survive the loss of key players to injury, no one thought they’d stay undefeated as long as they did, and there was widespread thought that the Cardinals might beat them a week ago.
But all year long, the formula has worked for them, so why stop now.
“To be honest with you, we’ve done a good job all year of not listening to the narratives outside our building,” center Ryan Kalil said. “That comes from coach [Ron] Rivera, who’s really talked about living in each week and staying in the moment.
“We’ve done that all year long, so we’re just going to do stay focused on today and worry about next week next week.”
Except, of course, there is no next week. But don’t tell them that, they’re on a roll.