Branch returned to New England via trade last year and was a big contributor to a Patriots team that went 14-2 and secured the No. 1 playoff seed. But the underdog Jets came to Foxborough and shocked the Pats, celebrating on the field afterward with backflips, arms-out victory laps and even Bart Scott's "Can't wait!" catchphrase.
That exuberant behavior stuck with Branch.
"Oh, you remember it," Branch said.
Jets coach Rex Ryan recently invited other teams to beat the Patriots, thereby giving New York a clearer path to the AFC East title. In fact, Ryan and the Jets have been open in talking about knocking New England off its perch this season, winning a division crown that would bring a home playoff game and possibly a bye.
"You could take that as a little sarcasm, too," Branch said. "It could be either one. It's funny to us. We sit back and laugh (at his comments about the Patriots). I don't know what he means by it. You just have to expect the unexpected with (Ryan)."