You might not have noticed because Steelers WR Antonio Brown had a 100+ yard day, but Patriots CB Malcolm Butler has entered the ranks of the NFL elite at cornerback. Outside of Brown’s 51 yard reception, Butler was extremely competitive in coverage and picked up an interception and three additional pass defenses.
That interception was Butler’s first in 2016. For those keeping track, Butler has had 4 passes defended (interceptions + break-ups) for two straight weeks and now leads the NFL with 12 passes defended. Raiders CB David Amerson (11) and Giants CB Janoris Jenkins (10) are the only other players with double digit pass defenses.
According to Pro Football Focus, Butler is the 3rd ranked cornerback in the NFL and the 2nd best in coverage. Butler is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2015 and he will be a restricted free agent after the 2016 season.
He is set for a big payday this offseason and he’ll be worth every penny.