5 Telling facts about the Patriots after 5 games

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3. Malcolm Butler has been getting his hands on the ball

With Tarell Brown now on the injured reserve, Butler is pretty much the only cornerback on the roster that Patriots fans can feel confident about these days. When you look at his stats, you will see that Butler has in fact been playing at a very high level.

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Butler is tied for ninth in the league with seven passes defended, and six of the eight players ranking ahead of him in that category have played one more game than the Super Bowl XLIX hero.

Cornerbacks sitting next to Butler with seven passes defended include Aqib Talib and Brent Grimes, two of the top cover men in the NFL.

Passes defended is a tricky stat because you could be the worst corner in the world, get targeted a bunch every game and get lucky by knocking a few away as a result of all those opportunities. But it’s not like quarterbacks are taking Butler for an inexperienced, weak No. 1 corner; he has certainly gained respect throughout the league.

If Butler were to get hurt, the Patriots would be royally screwed at cornerback.

Next: 2. Rob Gronkowski ranks 4th with 18.5 yards/catch