New England Patriots: Tom Brady’s top 5 receivers of all time…so far

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady /
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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Deion Branch
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Deion Branch /

No.4 – Deion Branch

Unlike Troy Brown, Deion Branch started off his career with Tom Brady at quarterback.  In fact, one has to wonder how great this duo would’ve been if Branch played in New England during the prime of his career.

Like Brown, Branch was an undersized receiver who played big catching the ball from Brady.  While not exactly a deep threat receiver, Branch was able to stretch the field had had his biggest games during the team’s biggest moments.

One of those big moments include a historic performance in the team’s 24-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.  He caught 11 receptions for 133 yards and earned the MVP award.

If it wasn’t for Branch’s outstanding performance, the Patriots may not have won that Super Bowl and Brady would’ve definitely took home the award.

During Branch’s 11-year career (twice with the Patriots), he caught 518 receptions for 6,644 yards and 39 touchdowns, 24 of those TDs from Brady.

The perfect receiver

If there is a theme with this list, it is how undersized receivers have been utilized by Tom Brady.  Branch was a prime definition of one of those players.  So much so that the team did bring him back towards the latter part of his career.  It was his route running and quickness that made him a valuable contributor in the Patriots’ offense.

When Branch returned to the team in 2010, he spoke about the chemistry he had with Brady, a chemistry that was still intact even after being a part of a few years.

"“We’re always going to have this bond,” Branch said back in 2012, via The Sporting News.  “The friendship we have off the football field, the way we communicate off the football field, is what’s most important, overall, from all the years we’ve been playing together.”"