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Pro Football Focus: Xavien Howard Headlines Big Day for Miami Dolphins Secondary

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Buoyed by a strong showing from their secondary, the Dolphins were able to snap their five-game losing streak.

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Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins finally notched their fifth win of the season with an impressive victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Dolphins were led by strong performances by two members of their 2016 NFL Draft class. Due to their impressive work, Xavien Howard and Kenyan Drake were both recognized by Pro Football Focus’ analysis team.

Howard nabbed two of Miami’s three interceptions, and he managed to return one of them for a touchdown. The 24-year-old corner earned an impressive grade of 94.8 from PFF—the highest grade awarded to a Dolphins player.

Pro Football Focus had this to say about Howard’s outing against the Broncos:

A big day for Howard saw him targeted nine times in coverage, more often than not though, it was Howard who was getting his hands on the ball and not the receivers. He finished the game allowing just two catches for 30 yards, picking off two passes and breaking up two more. This resulted in an NFL passer rating on throws into his coverage of just 1.4.

On the offensive side of the ball, Drake marched all over Denver’s defense to the tune of 120 yards rushing. The former Alabama standout captured a grade of 94.2 for his work on the ground.

PFF had described Drake’s performance on Sunday with the following:

Drake had to fight for every yard, as he averaged less than one yard before contact and gained 106 of his 120 rushing yards after he was touched by a Denver defender. Furthermore, he forced seven missed tackles on just 23 carries. His biggest run came in the third quarter when he cut away from a tackle attempt by Broncos safety Will Parks and broke another tackle before getting into the end zone after a 42-yard run.


You can read Pro Football Focus’ full list of grades and analysis by following this link.