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Inside The Numbers: Xavien Howard Leads NFL With 7 Interceptions

  • Cornerback Xavien Howard was at it again Sunday, coming up with two more interceptions against Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen.
  • Howard now leads the NFL with seven interceptions on the season, one ahead of Atlanta safety Damontae Kazee and Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller.
  • The seven interceptions represent the highest total for a Dolphins player since 2003 when Patrick Surtain also had seven.
  • Howard is the 16th Dolphins player with four interceptions or more in consecutive seasons, as he joined Brent Grimes (2013-15), Patrick Surtain (2002-04), Brock Marion (2000-02), Sam Madison (1998-2000), Terrell Buckley (1996-98), Troy Vincent (1994-95), J.B. Brown (1992-93), Louis Oliver (1989-92), Glenn Blackwood (1984-85), William Judson (1983-85), Gerald Small (1978-79), Jake Scott (1970-75), Lloyd Mumphord (1969-70), Dick Westmoreland (1966-67) and Jimmy Warren (1966-67).
  • The game against the Bills marked the fifth time in his career that Howard had two interceptions. He joined Sam Madison as the only cornerbacks in franchise history with at least four games with multiple picks (Madison did it six times). The only other Dolphins players to do it were safeties Glenn Blackwood (six times) and Jake Scott (five times).
  • Going back through Week 13 of the 2017 when he had two picks against the Denver Broncos, Howard has 11 interceptions in his past 17 games, the highest total in the NFL. It’s three more than Fuller of the Bears.
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  • Thanks to Howard’s picks, the Dolphins now have 19 interceptions on the season, their highest total since 2003 when they finished with 22. By comparison, the Dolphins finished the 2017 season with nine interceptions.
  • At their current pace, the Dolphins would finish with 25, which would represent the ninth-highest total in franchise history. It also would represent the team’s highest single-season total since 2000 when they had 28.
  • The 19 picks are second in the NFL behind the 21 by the Chicago Bears, and five more than third-place Cleveland and New England.
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  • Along with six fumble recoveries, the Dolphins have 25 takeaways in 2018, good for third in the NFL behind the 30 by the Bears and the 27 by the Browns.
  • The Dolphins are tied for seventh with Houston and Denver in turnover margin at plus-8.
  • The Dolphins special teams continue to produce.
  • Punter Matt Haack is second in the NFL with 31 punts inside the 20, two fewer than Washington’s Tress Way.
  • Rookie Jason Sanders, who is 16-for-17 on the season, is one of only six kickers in the NFL with at least 15 field goal attempts and no more than one miss. The others are Matt Bryant (15-for-15), Aldrick Rosas (26-for-27), Wil Lutz (23-for-24), Robbie Gould (23-for-24) and Harrison Butker (19-for-20).
  • Kenyan Drake became Sunday the third player in Dolphins history with at least four rushing and four receiving touchdowns in the same season. He’s also one of only eight players in the NFL to have done that this season, along with Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and James White.
  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had three touchdown passes for the second time this season and the 13th time in his NFL career.
  • Tannehill had a 103.6 passer rating against the Bills, the 21st rating of 100 or higher in his career and his fourth this season. He needs two more 100 ratings to match his career high of six, set in 2014.
  • On defense, Kiko Alonso is now tied for second in the NFL with Green Bay linebacker Blake Martinez with 106 total tackles, trailing only rookie Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Alonso, Leonard and Jacksonville’s Telvin Smith are the only players in the NFL with at least 100 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble this season.

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