Coming off his second straight to interception performance, Dolphins defensive back Xavien Howard was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday morning.
Howard had two picks of Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen in Miami’s 21 – 17 victory on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. This came on the heels of Howard having picked off Andrew Luck twice (actually on back to back plays) in the loss to Indianapolis the previous week.
The AFC Defensive Player of the Week leads the @NFL in interceptions this season.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 5, 2018
Howard, a third-year player out of Baylor, now leads the NFL through 13 weeks with seven interceptions on the season. He also has another six passes defended and has totaled 40 tackles in the Fins 12 games.
Howard previously won AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, for last December’s upset of the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football at home. And now, he has become just the second Dolphins defensive back ever to win the award multiple times. He joins legendary corner Sam Madison, as the only other one on that list.
And speaking of the Patriots, they come to South Florida this Sunday and Howard will look to be “ball-hawking” again against future Hall-of-Famer, Tom Brady.
With Miami on “the fringe” of the AFC playoff picture at 6-6 on the season, it may come down to a key moment in the second half of this game, where Howard is battling the likes of Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan or even Rob Gronkowski for a key pass breakup or another interception.
If the Fins defense can rise to the occasion, they will have a chance to upset the first place Patriots, who beat them handily in their first meeting in Foxboro back in October.
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