FOXBORO, Mass. — If any one of us were in Deion Branch‘s shoes, we may be inclined to thump our chests and brag about our performance after turning in the type of performance the receiver did on Sunday.
Branch, in his first game as a Patriot since the ’05 season, was a major contributor to the Patriots 23-20 overtime win over the Ravens. He finished the day with nine catches for 98 yards and a touchdown, including key receptions on the game-tying and game-winning drives.
After the game though, Branch revealed a mistake that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
On third-and-3 from the Baltimore 6-yard line, Tom Brady dropped back and looked for Branch, but his pass sailed over the receiver’s head. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal to tie the game, and the Patriots eventually won in overtime. Branch, however, wanted to come clean, saying he “messed up” on that third down.
“I’m a very honest man — I messed up on one of the plays that you all couldn’t tell,” Branch told the media after the game. “I’ll be honest and let you know, had I ran the right route, we probably wouldn’t have went to overtime.”
Fortunately for Branch and the Patriots, it didn’t cost them a win. But at the time, Branch was nervous his return to the Patriots might be marred by his mistake — even if he was the only one to know it.
“I was just praying, ‘Please, let’s get the ball back,'” he said. “I think as a player, that’s the last thing you want — to end the game on a note that you could have done a whole lot better instead of making a mistake.”
Watch Branch explain in the video below.