Malcolm Butler felt as though he did a pretty good job on Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday. It certainly went better for Butler than some of their previous meetings.
But Sanders begs to differ. Even though he caught just three passes for 48 yards, and even though his offense scored just three points, Denver's top wideout indicated on Twitter that it was more than Butler's coverage that slowed him down.
Sanders argued that the Patriots were playing Cover 2 throughout the course of the game, implying that safety help over the top of Butler, or whoever else happened to be covering him underneath, was why quarterback Trevor Siemian couldn't get him the football.
If you think malcom butler shut me down.. child please!! My 2 year old son Princeton can play Cover 2. Go watch the tape. He know better!— Emmanuel Sanders (@ESanders_10) December 19, 2016
Logan Ryan's interception came while in coverage of Sanders during the first play of the second quarter. While it appeared as though the Patriots were playing zone -- Sanders motioned away from Butler before the snap, and Butler didn't follow -- Ryan had no help over the top. He simply read quarterback Trevor Siemian's eyes and stepped in front of the pass, admitting after the game it was a risky maneuver that paid off.
The truth is Butler played a significant role in limiting Sanders, but it wasn't all Butler. And Butler acknowledged that after the game.
But whatever the Patriots did -- Cover 2, Cover 1, Cover 3 -- worked. Sanders was one of the Broncos' only hopes to move the football, and they couldn't figure out Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's coverages well enough to figure it out.
As to why Sanders would want to call attention to that fact on Twitter the day after the game? That's a head-scratcher.