New England Patriots: 10 X-Factors In 2015

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1. Malcom Butler (Cornerback)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Malcolm Butler is a hero in New England. His goal-line interception sealed the Patriots fourth Super Bowl victory since 2001. All signs point to 2015 being his year, but it won’t be easy. ESPN reported that Butler has been held out of OTA’s for the last three weeks for being late to practice. That is a lot of missed time for someone who is second on the depth chart. Even with a limited sample size, Butler looks like more than just a one play wonder. Before his game-winning interception, the Patriots put Butler in the game to replace Kyle Arrington who was having a tough night against Seattle’s bigger receivers.

Butler broke up a few plays and he was in perfect position for one of the luckiest catches in recent memory by Jermaine Kearse. He clearly plays extremely hard when given the chance and the Patriots secondary is going to need someone that is willing to take risks. If Butler can get out of the doghouse, he must step up and play well in order to provide some continuity to what is shaping up to be a makeshift secondary.