New England Patriots: 4 player grades from Preseason Week 3

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 12: Malcolm Butler (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 12: Malcolm Butler (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Malcolm Butler
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Malcolm Butler /

MALCOLM BUTLER. B. Three tackles. One forced fumble.. CB. New England Patriots

Following a shaky performance versus the Houston Texans in Preseason Week 2, Patriots starting cornerback Malcolm Butler had a much better showing against the Lions.

According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, Butler allowed just two passes on three targets for 31 yards and a touchdown, a step in the right direction after giving up five passes for 71 yards and a score in Houston, last week.

In addition, Butler tallied his first turnover of the preseason, forcing a fumble on Lions wide receiver Golden Tate. Boston Herald contributor Evan Lazar shared a clip of Butler’s forced fumble:

Butler contributed to another takeaway in the second quarter, tipping a pass by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford intended for wide receiver Kenny Golladay which would land in the hands of Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe. Binge Sports’ Casey Baker shared this video of Rowe’s pick:

However, Butler’s night wasn’t perfect. With 1:24 to go in the first half, he gave up a 23-yard touchdown in coverage against Lions wideout Marvin Jones.

Despite Butler’s up and down showings in New England’s two latest preseason contests, he’s still shown the ability to create turnovers and make plays other corners simply cannot.