and the Tennessee Titans but none comes with as much intrigue as the one with cornerback Malcolm Butler. The story is well known: an undrafted rookie Trey Flowers Jersey , Butler became an instant star when he made the game-winning interception in Super Bowl 49. However, his tenure in New England ended in controversial fashion, with him getting benched for Super Bowl 52.Butler left the Patriots after the title game and now is a starting cornerback in Tennessee. However, his performance has not been up to the same standards he set over his three years (minus one game) as a starter in New England: the 28-year old gave up 39 catches so far this season for 618 yards and seven touchdowns. “I shudder to think about what Josh Gordon will do to him,” Jimmy Morris said about Butler.Leading up to today’s game with spoke with Jimmy, who is covering the Titans as editor-in-chief for our sister site Music City Miracles, about the matchup between the Patriots offense and Tennessee’s defense — and safe to say that Butler has been a weak link for a unit that has its undeniable strengths but has struggled when it comes to defending chunk plays this season: “Their biggest weakness, without question, has been big plays.”“Malcolm Butler has been the biggest victim,” Jimmy said about the embattled former Patriot who signed a five-year, $61.3 million contract with $30 million in guarantees this offseason. “We are all terrified that Bill Belichick is going to go after Butler early and often in this game to prove why Butler wasn’t on the field in the Super Bowl. He has been burnt by guys like Jordan Matthews and Allen Hurns already this year.”But while Butler and the Titans have had some issues when it comes to preventing big plays this season, the team still has a very good defense in other aspects. “They have been really good in the red zone Deatrich Wise Jr Jersey Black Friday ,” Jimmy said about the NFL’s number one scoring defense — one that leads the league with just 16.8 points given up per game. “[The red zone defense] has been the biggest thing that has them atop the scoring rankings.”As already mentioned in this week’s advanced stats breakdown, red zone performance might be the key to the game for the Patriots. “They have given up yards, but they have really #Titanup’d (pun intended) when teams get inside the 20 yard line,” Jimmy noted. “I am interested to see if they can keep that up. It’s pretty easy to be good in the red zone against guys like Blake Bortles. It is a whole different story when facing Tom Brady.”In order for the Titans to stop Brady and company, a former Patriot defender will need to bring his A-game today: cornerback Logan Ryan. While not the same household name as Butler, Ryan is in the middle of a solid second season in Tennessee. “He isn’t an elite cornerback, but he has been a very consistent performer week in and week out for this defense,” Jimmy noted about the former Patriots third-round pick.“He was mainly playing as the nickel corner early in the year, but he plays outside in the base defense now because Butler has been so terrible,” he continued. Ryan and Butler are not the only defensive backs to watch today, though. “[A] guy you need to know about is All-Pro safety Kevin Byard,” Jimmy said. “He has been in this news this week after his interception and celebration on the star in Dallas Monday night. He has a lot of range on the backend of this Titans defense.”The Titans’ star players do not all line up in the secondary , however: the front seven also features some serious talent — led by standout Jurrell Casey. “Casey is the guy that creates the pressure up front,” Jimmy said about the defensive tackle. “He would be a perennial All-Pro if he played for the Patriots, but he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he has spent his career with the Titans playing on mainly bad teams.”“You can believe that Belichick and Josh McDaniels have spent a lot of time this week talking about him,” Jimmy continued. Another player he pointed out is ex-Boston College standout Harold Landry, who was drafted by the Titans in the second round this year and plays as an outside linebacker for the team. “Landry has shown some flashes of being really special with his elite speed and bend off the edge.”“Having a guy like Landry out there has opened things up for Casey on the inside because teams have to plan for him coming around the edge,” Jimmy pointed out. “Landry will get better as he gets more experience at the NFL level.” And while the rookie will face a big challenge going against the Patriots’ high-quality offensive tackles Trent Brown and Marcus Cannon, Casey might pose a different challenge.After all, New England will be without starting right guard Shaq Mason today. And while replacement Ted Karras is a solid player, seeing him go up against Casey is a mismatch in the Titans’ favor. Ultimately, the talented defensive tackle and his colleagues in the front seven will try their best to cover any potential shortcomings Butler and the Tennessee secondary might have against New England’s receiving groups. TEAM TALKGame Preview: Patriots at Titans. Broadcast info, series history, tale of the tape; More.Team connections: Patriots-Titans.Paul Perillo tackles this week’s Ask PFW Mailbag: Adding depth James Harrison Jersey , improving defense and more.Conference Call Transcripts: Bill Belichick - Josh McDaniels - Brian Flores.Angelique Fiske reports each Patriots player wore the initials of a fallen soldier on their helmets, honoring their sacrifice for Salute to Service.Wide Open: Deatrich Wise shows off his Bill Belichick impersonation, divulges what article of clothing he can’t live without and weighs in on the debate over whether a hot dog is a sandwich. (2.57 min. video)From the NFL - Baldy’s Breakdowns: How the Patriots offense uses I formation with Patterson. (2.21 min.)LOCAL LINKSKaren Guregian writes Bill Belichick made the right call between Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler: Patriots have a shutdown corner, the Titans don’t.Doug Kyed points out the Patriots are not missing Malcolm Butler, who has struggled mightily with the Titans.Ryan Hannable notes Brian Flores praises Malcolm Butler as a ‘great’, ‘incredible’ player.Zack Cox scouts the Titans and gives us five things to know ahead of Sunday’s matchup: 2. They’re in the playoff hunt.Mike Reiss looks at the interesting coaching matchup between Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel.Karen Guregian notes WR coach Chad O’Shea has been instrumental in bringing Josh Gordon up to speed on the offense.David Latham (LastWordOnSports) Josh Gordon: The New England Patriots savior.Ryan Hannable thinks Josh McDaniels is not getting enough credit for the success of the offense.Tom E. Curran calls last week’s chess match with Aaron Rodgers a growth opportunity for the defense.Nick O’Malley notes the Patriots defense may be short on star power, but it may have one of the most underrated players in the NFL in the form of “quiet storm” Trey Flowers.Mike Reiss reviews the first half of the Patriots season: Tom Brady has Patriots positioned for another post-season push.Mike Petraglia writes an interesting piece on how the Patriots’ seasonal rise starts with the details and Bill Belichick’s unwavering trust in his players. /Good read.DJ Bean says the 7-2 Patriots have come a long way from the 1-2 doldrums to potentially running the table.Ryan Hannable takes a look at the AFC playoff picture to see where the Patriots stand after Week 9.Devon Clements (PatriotsWire) Here are some franchise records Cordarelle Patterson broke against Packers.Nick O’Malley gives us an update on the Patriots’ recent series of roster moves.Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Obi Melifonwu: ‘Being a Patriot was the best thing for me’.Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Jason McCourty’s notebook collection is a ridiculously detailed football archive of his career.Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: Josh McDaniels welcomes Titanic test from old friends.Bob Socci’s Patriots Notebook: Trey Flowers causes all kinds of trouble in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood.Doug Kyed NFL Rumors: Patriots work out free-agent running back, offensive tackle.Henry McKenna (PatriotsWire) Winning seems to have eased tension, drama between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.Mike Cole posts a short Bill Belichick mic’d-up clip from Showtime’s ‘Inside the NFL’ that is just the latest example of his greatness.CBS Boston reports the Packers released Jermaine Whitehead after his ejection against the Patriots.Zack Cox reports Bruce Irvin turned down more money from the Patriots to sign with ‘his city’ Atlanta.NATIONAL NEWSRobert Mays (The Ringer) The Starting 11: The NFL’s most dominant offenses refuse to be stopped.Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Bill Belichick’s latest innovation: Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back.Darin Gantt (ProFootballTalk) Patriots put center Brian Schwenke on IR.Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Malcolm Butler won’t be demoted ahead of Patriots game.Cameron Wolfe (ESPN) Who was that?!? Sneaky good performances that mattered in Week 9. Lawrence Guy gets a mention.Gregg Rosenthal ( Debrief: Ravens’, Pack’s losses among most humbling of Week 9.MMQB Staff (SI) Unexpected and surprising storylines of the first half of the 2018 NFL season.Conor Orr (SI) NFL preseason predictions we missed.Danny Heifetz (The Ringer) How these seven coaches on the hot seat can save their jobs.Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Who’s on the hot seat, halfway through the season?Jim Reineking (USA Today) Get your popcorn ready: Classic NFL celebrations we most want to see repeated next.