Detroit Lions rookie second-round pick Brian Branch was an absolute stud during the safety’s days with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kadarius Toney of the Kansas City Chiefs also starred in the SEC for the Florida Gators.
The two went against one another to open the 2023 NFL season inside Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. They are also now going in completely different directions.
With Kansas City sporting a 14-7 lead and driving the ball near mid-field early in the third quarter, Toney dropped what seemed to be an easy pass from Patrick Mahomes. The ball went right into the hands of Branch, who returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
This will go down as an interception for Mahomes. But it’s all on Kadarius Toney. The ball was thrown perfectly. He either took his eyes off the ball or felt footsteps from Lions defenders. Either way, this is not going to make Chiefs head coach Andy Reid happy.
On the other side, Brian Branch recorded 23 passes defended and four interceptions during his three-year run with the Crimson Tide. He acted the part of a ball hawk for head coach Nick Saban.
Getting extensive action in his regular-season debut, Branch more than showed Dan Campbell and Co. what he can bring to the table out of the gate. What a game changing play from the rookie.