Playing as ‘a true team,’ Pats triumph - Metro US

Playing as ‘a true team,’ Pats triumph

Those weren’t old highlights of Tom Brady and Deion Branch you were seeing during yesterday’s Patriots game. But their play sure was reminiscent of old times.

Something clicked between Brady and his receivers in the fourth quarter. They got open, and he found them.

Needing three points to tie the game late, Brady and the Pats marched 80 yards to set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. In that span, Brady completed seven passes — four of which went to Branch.

“We’ve known each other for a long time, so I think that chemistry is there and it will be there for a long time,” Brady said. “He made some big catches — all those play-action passes — he made some good plays on those.”

In all, Branch hauled in nine receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. His two catches during the final drive in OT went for first downs and ultimately led to the 23-20 win.

Branch’s style of play is similar to that of Wes Welker in that he knows how to do his job and get open.

“It’s great to have a competitor like him,” Welker said. “He’s going to compete every play and he’s going to give you his all and run great routes and be in the right spot, and he’s a very accountable guy.”

Branch wasn’t here for last year’s playoff loss, but Vince Wilfork was. He saw how the team responded to adversity and came through.

“A lot of guys who were here for this playoff game last year understood what this game meant,” Wilfork said. “To get away with a ‘W’ and how we did it — down 10 [points] and we fought back. At times, we were getting booed, but you know what? We looked past all that stuff and stuck together as a team — a true team.”

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