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Former Alabama DB Brian Branch apologizes to Lions’ fans, vows team will be back in NFC title game

Detroit Lions safety Brian Branch walks off the field after the Lions suffer a 31-34 loss to the 49ers in NFC Championship Game.
Junfu Han - Detroit Free Press/USA Today Sports

A former Alabama football defensive back was hurting after Sunday’s loss for the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game.

Brian Branch, a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, produced an outstanding rookie year for the Lions. He helped the franchise win an NFC North Division title for the first time in 30 years. Branch, a native Georgian, finished the regular season with 74 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, a sack, 13 pass breakups, three interceptions, a forced fumble, and an interception returned for a touchdown. He recorded 20 tackles in the postseason with two tackles for loss, a sack, and a pass breakup.

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Branch totaled four tackles, including one for loss in a 31-34 loss to the 49ers.

He felt so bad after the loss that he apologized to Lions fans on social media.

Branch vowed to Detroit fans the Lions will return to the NFC Championship Game stage and finish. The fan base for the Lions could not be any happier to have someone like Branch representing the franchise. He was successful as a rookie and is destined for more.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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