The veteran wide receiver caught nine passes on Sunday afternoon — as many as Randy Moss had in four games before being traded — as the Patriots won a 23-20 overtime thriller over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Foxboro.
Branch and old friend Tom Brady didn't miss a beat in Branch's first game as a Patriot since being traded to Seattle in 2006. The two hooked up nine times for 98 yards and a touchdown. The fourth quarter touchdown started a string of 13 unanswered points for the Patriots, a run that was capped by Stephen Gostkowski's 32-yard field goal to win it for the Pats in overtime.
As good as the Patriots looked on offense, the defense was impressive as well. The unit bounced back less than a year after the Ravens, most notably Ray Rice, embarrassed the Pats in a home playoff game by holding Rice to only 88 yards of rushing. Of course, Rice had that many yards before some fans had even gotten to their seats in last year's 33-14 Baltimore win in the wild card round.
With the win, the Patriots improved to 4-1 and are suddenly right back in the conversation as one of the NFL's elite teams, especially considering many thought Baltimore was the league's best team.