Deion Branch: An NFL Legend
Branch, wide receiver for the New England Patriots and Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, is known as both a star athlete on the field, and a charitable family man off the field. Branch speaks about winning, teamwork, leadership, and playing being a Super Bowl MVP.
Deion Branch is one of just four wide receivers in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP, joining legendary wideouts Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann and Fred Biletnikoff. Branch was awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXIX. His 11 receptions in the game tied the Super Bowl record, also achieved by Jerry Rice and Dan Ross.
Branch has turned in his biggest performances on the greatest stage in sports, leading all receivers in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. He recorded a combined 21 receptions in the two games and owns two of the top seven receiving performances in Super Bowl history. His career reception total in the Super Bowl ranks third alltime, trailing only Jerry Rice (33) and Andre Reed (27).
Branch was the NFL's leading receiver in the 2004 playoffs, pacing the league in receptions (16) and receiving yards (264). In addition to being named Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, he was selected as the NFL's Offensive Player of the Week following the AFC Championship Game (1/23/05), when he led all receivers with 116 yards, including a game-breaking 60-yard touchdown grab.
Branch led the Patriots in 2003 with 57 receptions and 803 receiving yards, with both figures establishing career highs.
Branch was the leading receiver in Super Bowl XXXVIII, grabbing 10 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers. Branch's 143 yards set a Patriots postseason record and established a career high.
Deion gained a first down on 70.2 percent of his catches in 2003 (40 first downs on 57 receptions). He was a particular threat on third down, finishing sixth in the AFC in third-down receiving (24 rec, 362 yds, 2 touchdowns). During his rookie season in 2002, Branch finished second among AFC rookies with 43 receptions and third with 489 yards receiving despite missing the final three games due to injury. Branch earned Rookie of the Month honors for September, 2002 after recording 28 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns.
Branch established his career high for receptions with 13 catches against the San Diego Chargers (09/29/02) tying the second highest single-game reception total by a rookie wide receiver in NFL history. His performance also tied the second-highest reception total by a Patriot, equaling the mark set by Terry Glenn on Oct. 3, 1999.