Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard has intercepted a pass in five consecutive games, giving him an NFL-leading nine interceptions this season. And he’s closing in on some truly rare territory: Double-digit interceptions.
No NFL player has intercepted 10 passes in a season since Antonio Cromartie did it in 2007. If Howard intercepts one pass in the Dolphins’ final three games, he’ll reach 10 interceptions on the year.
Interceptions aren’t as common today as they used to be, as rule changes have favored passing offenses, and offensive schemes have improved to make it harder for passing defenses. The NFL record for interceptions in a season is 14, set in a 12-game season by Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane with the Rams in 1952. But these days, no one approaches that record. The last player to have more than 10 interceptions in a season was Everson Walls, who had 11 interceptions for the Cowboys in 1981.
Howard won’t break Lane’s record, but he has a good chance of joining the double-digit interception club, a club that gets more and more exclusive as the game changes to make it harder and harder on defensive players to do what Howard is doing this season.