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Dolphins Xavien Howard is AFC Defensive Player of Week

Olivia Stacey



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Still getting a boost from their impressive Monday night win over New England, the Dolphins secured another individual honor Wednesday. That’s when second-year cornerback Xavien Howard was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after a dominant performance on Monday night.

Howard intercepted Tom Brady twice in Miami’s stunning 27-20 upset of the Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. It marked the first time in more than two years (Dec. 6, 2015) that Brady had been picked off twice in the same game.

“I just made a play on it,” Howard said when asked about what he saw on his second interception.

After not recording an interception during his first 18 regular season games, Howard has intercepted four passes over the past two games. He also recorded a pair of interceptions against the Denver Broncos on December 3. That makes him the first cornerback in team history to have multiple interceptions in back-to-back games. And when you look at names like Madison, Surtain, etc. that have played that position over the years, it’s even more impressive.

He also was the one on one defender on the Pats deep threat Brandin Cooks and held him to just one catch in the game.

“I’m just feeding off the last game,” Howard said on Monday night. “Watching film and stuff like that. They tried to come at me in the weakness that I showed on film so just executing the game plan.”

Howard, who was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, is emerging as a top playmaker for Miami. “He balled out,” Dolphins safety Reshad Jones said. “That’s what he does. That’s what he does. He can be one of the best corners in the league.”

After recording two picks against one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, he may be well on his way.

Olivia is a multi-faceted sports reporter based in Tampa Bay where she has covered events from the College Football National Championship to the Stanley Cup Final. A native Floridian, she grew up rooting for Tampa’s sports teams, and graduated from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. Olivia continued her education at the University of Florida where she received her broadcast journalism degree.

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