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Albany’s Branch on 4th-quarter drop: ‘I still got to catch the ball’

Albany’s Deion Branch told The Herald that he will definitely play football next season and that he wants to end his career in New England.

Albany’s Deion Branch told The Herald that he will definitely play football next season and that he wants to end his career in New England.

By Josh Weinfuss

ALBANY HERALD CORRESPONDENT


INDIANAPOLIS — Deion Branch had a Super Bowl sized reputation heading into Sunday night.

He led the New England Patriots in receiving yards in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and came back a year later to be named the MVP.

So when the Patriots found themselves down four points with 57 seconds left in Super Bowl XLVI, New England quarterback Tom Brady turned to a likely source.

Brady’s first pass in the Patriots’ final series was intended for Branch, but Giants safety Antrel Rolle tipped it just enough where Branch had to reach back to attempt a catch. Branch missed the first-and-10 pass as five seconds ticked off the clock.

Still in uniform in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium after losing Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants, 21-17, Branch didn’t blame the tip for him missing the catch.

“I still got to catch the ball,” Branch said. “All of the plays were big, every play is important. Had I made the catch that was behind me, that could have been a key third down but we didn’t connect on it.”

Brady looked to the veteran receiver again two plays later on fourth-and-16 from the Patriots 14 and was able to connect with Branch for 19 yards to keep New England’s title hopes alive.

After marching to the Patriots 49 with nine seconds left, Brady looked to Branch once again but the 32-year-old Albany native toed the sideline, but it wasn’t enough. He was ruled out-of-bounds and the Patriots were forced to sling a Hail Mary with five seconds left.

“I thought I was in,” Branch said. “I think that would have been a big play for us.”

The ball fell just short of New England tight end Rob Gronkowski’s fingers as the Giants won their second Super Bowl in four years, and handed Branch his first title loss.

“It’s tough man, especially when we didn’t play good ball but still had the chance to win the game,” Branch said. “We made more mistakes and, regardless of the plays we made, we didn’t capitalize on the opportunities that they gave us.”

Branch was used sparingly in the first half, catching the only pass intended for him for 15 yards in the first quarter.

But he had a front-row seat for history.

Brady broke Joe Montana’s Super Bowl record of 13 consecutive completions in the first half with 16 straight. Despite the loss, Branch said that’s just Tom being Tom.

“That’s pretty much what we do in practice,” Branch said. “It’s nothing different. That’s Tom.”

As Branch enters the offseason with his football future uncertain, he told The Herald he’ll play football in 2012, he just doesn’t know where. If he had a choice, though, it’ll be in New England.

“This is where I want to be, this is where I want to retire,” Branch said. “This is why I came back, for the opportunity to play in this game and I’m pretty sure I will be here in this position next year.”

While he waits for his contract situation to get figured out, Branch will attempt to get over his first Super Bowl loss.

“It’s very painful, you know, not just for myself and my teammates but my family, and my kids,” Branch said. “The last thing I want is for all my kids to go to school and there are kids looking at them. There are more than just us we play this game for.”

Comments

coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

that pass was tipped and almost impossible to catch. He still did good and made the city proud....Good job Deion on a great season, AFC Champs

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Somebody 2 years, 2 months ago

City proud? He is an embarassment to the city. I think he missed that ball on purpose. And that wasn't his only dropped ball. I think someone paid him a lot of money to help blow the game. He is the modern day benedict arnold! Here's a pie in your face Coach Johnson. I told you the Patri(nots) were going down.

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Keyshia7 2 years, 2 months ago

@ Somebody are you serious? Do you think that this guy would dare accept money to miss a catch so that he would not Have ANOTHER Super Bowl Ring/Title? I think not!!! Deion Branch is so far from a City Embarrassment that it's Ludacris.....but you on the other hand my dude has "CITY EMBARASSMENT" written all over your face!! Deion has overcome so many obstacles coming from such a small city, and that he's done well for himself!! Stop Being A Hater, and oh by the way I didn't get what NFL Team that you play for?!?! I'm just Saying!! Good year Deion keep doing what your doing... and make your hometown proud!! "TEAM BRANCH 84"

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Somebody 2 years, 2 months ago

I play for the New York Giants, the 2012 Super Bowl champions, not some looooooser team like the Patri(nots). Maybe if they had better wide receivers that could catch something besides the common cold, they might have won.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh Yeah? What position do you play? Jock strap washer? BTW The Giants are the 2011 Super Bowl Champions, not 2012.

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The_Dude 2 years, 2 months ago

Ludicrous is spelled ludicrous... not the way some idiot rapper spells it.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

@ Somebody....You are a fool! Branch no more missed that pass on purpose no more than the Ravens FG kicker missed that FG (on purpose) at the end of the AFC championship game. It's not like the ball Branch missed was right there. He had to almost dive to catch the ball, plus the pass might have been partially tipped.

It was a tough loss for the Patriots. Thought the Giants were gonna blow it at the end when they inadvertantly scored that touchdown. The Patriots came close to making them pay.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years, 2 months ago

@somebody: I saw that pass and it was tipped and behind him. How stupid can you be to say he missed it on purpose? You have been making some real stupid comments on here. Its one thing to diagree just for the blogs, but to say out right ignorant stuff is unacceptable. Brady just had a bad game and made some bad throws. Deion Branch still had a good game and season. But you sir, are a jerk.

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bifis28 2 years, 2 months ago

can somebody tell me why the catch was not reviewed in the fourth quarter? I thought that it was close enough to at least review. He definitely caught the ball and he dragged his feet. Possession would have been close.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

The Pats defense played badly also

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tywebb 2 years, 2 months ago

the D was terrible the whole year.

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dominiquedamac 2 years, 2 months ago

Deion dropped the ball and he is a veteran...

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Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

Somebody made that post to get a rise out of the peanut gallery and laugh at them. It worked, obviously.

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Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

Too bad the DCSS school board couldn't have voted to decide who won. Qualifications and performance don't mean anything to them, so the ASU rams could have one that one...

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Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

You are right coach. DCSS's board did pull one of the dumbest moves in the history of the town. I agree with you for once. Hey, you even spelled everything right this time. I know you are a DCSS product, so you get some leeway, but try to recall that grownups start sentences with big letters.

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