There are 32 teams in the NFL but Xavien Howard has more interceptions than nine of them.
Xavien Howard intercepted his 9th pass on Sunday and his fifth interception in five straight games. He has more than entire teams.
When Xavien Howard caught his league-leading 9th interception, it put him in some pretty great company. The NFL record in a single season is not in reach unless he records six INTs in the final three weeks. The single-season record is held by Dick “Night Train” Lane.
Lane recorded 14 interceptions in his rookie season in 1952. Lester Hayes recorded 13 interceptions in 1980. Since 2000, no corner has posted more than 10 interceptions on the season. Howard could become the first since Everson Walls in 1981. Walls had 11 that season.
Howard is having a defensive MVP caliber season but will he get the recognition he deserves? That is hard to say. There are plenty of defensive players in the NFL that will garner a lot of votes and they may come on teams with a more high-profile winning situation.
Back to Howard’s nine interceptions, five teams have as many as Howard. The Bengals, Falcons, Jaguars, Jets, and Chargers all have nine interceptions on the season so far. The Texans have a team-high three, the Eagles have four, the Cowboys and Panthers have five, and the Lions and Bears both have seven. The Ravens, Packers, and Broncos are one behind with eight apiece.
Looking at the NFL leaders by a player, Howard now has a two-INT lead over J.C. Jackson of the Patriots and three over Tyrann Mathieu of the Chiefs.