A day later, Malcolm Butler's Super Bowl benching remains a mystery

Angelica Greene
February 6, 2018

But he did that all against a Patriots defense that was missing a piece, a key piece that Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia chose to keep on the bench. I just feel that way.

It was all set up for Brady to produce another dramatic, winning drive - the ball in his hands, 2:21 remaining - but then it all came crashing down.

"There are a lot of things that go into that", Belichick told reporters Monday.

"They gave up on me", Butler said after the loss.

In the immediate aftermath of the loss Sunday night, Belichick said benching Butler wasn't a disciplinary decision.

The Patriots lost a heartbreaking decision to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, but the most shocking part of that game was the decision to not play Malcolm Butler at all.

After the game, Butler told ESPN's Adam Schefter, "They gave up on me". "I didn't know how to feel tonight", Browner said in an Instagram video.

Following the game, Belichick said it was simply a "coaching decision" to sit Butler.

On the positive side, Butler led the Patriots defense in snaps played this season, and hasn't missed a game due to injury in the last three years. Patricia also added that Butler was healthy enough to play.

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Philadelphia Eagles defeat New England Patriots to win first Super Bowl

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler (21).

Had Butler started, he most likely would've been responsible for Eagles number one receiver, Alshon Jeffery, who finished the game with 3 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown - somewhat modest numbers for a player of his caliber. Rowe, meanwhile, was on the field for just 261 snaps. Just about everyone was talking about Butler, a 24-year-old kid (at the time) who used to work at Popeyes.

Rowe and the rest of the secondary continued to get torched by Nick Foles all game long resulting in the former backup receiving Super Bowl MVP with 373 passing yards and three touchdowns.

In fact, Butler's abrupt benching seems to become more of a mystery the more time that passes. "I don't know. But I could have changed that game".

The story surrounding the 49ers' need for a cornerback took an interesting turn in Sunday night's Super Bowl.

He played a gunner over one of his best corners. We were like, 'This guy's not in the game!

Due to the odd circumstances surrounding Butler's absence during the Super Bowl the Texans will need to tread lightly.

Either Butler's benching was justified by some awful behavior or secret injury, in which case the Patriots would be wise to reveal their reasoning, or Belichick's decision was rash and inexplicable, in which case there must be someone angry enough to tell the world what happened.

Other reports by GizPress

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