For the second straight week, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard intercepted two passes in one game. This week, the league deemed the performance worthy of the AFC defensive player of the week award.
A second-round pick of the Dolphins in 2016, Howard has become one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. He now has seven interceptions on the year, most in the league through 12 games.
The next test for Howard arrives on Sunday, when the Patriots return to town. Tom Brady has struggled in Miami over the years, losing nine of 16 career games there. On a Monday night in Miami last December, Howard intercepted Brady twice.
A win against New England could be the spark that propels the Dolphins to the postseason. If that’s going to happen, they’ll need Howard to step up for the third straight week.