Cliff Branch: A Star on the Brightest Stage


Cliff Branch, one of the best receivers in Oakland Raiders history, passed away last Saturday at the age of 71. Branch played a role in three Raiders Super Bowl rosters. He played for the team from 1972-85, and was part of four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams.

In franchise history, Branch sits third all-time in receiving behind Tim Brown and Fred Biletnikoff. When looking into the postseason receiving yards, Branch only sits behind Jerry Rice, Julian Edelman, and Michael Irivng.

We are going to take a look at some of his greatest moments:

Super Bowl XV – Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles – January 25th, 1981

Branch had a memorable performance in this Super Bowl. He hauled in 5 receptions for 67 yards and 2 touchdowns en route to the Raiders securing their second Super Bowl in five years.

Divisional Round – Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Colts – December 24th, 1977

In a shootout, Branch was huge for the Raiders. He had one of his best games in his postseason career with 6 receptions for 113 yards, including a 41-yard catch. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Baltimore Colts in overtime by a score of 37-31.  

Oakland Raiders at Chicago Bears – November 7th, 1976

Through his career, Branch was recognized for his agility. In this game, he scored a 75-yard touchdown and the game-winning touchdown from 49 yards out. Branch finished with 5 receptions for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 28-27 victory.

Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders – November 30th, 1975

This was a beautiful performance between Ken Stabler and Branch. He finished with 7 receptions for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Raiders escaped a narrow 37-34 victory to improve to 9-2 that season.  

Featured Image: Focus on Sport, Getty Images

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