In the long and storied history of the Miami Dolphins franchise since joining the NFL in 1970, there has only been one double-digit interception season, with it happening pretty recently in 2020 with longtime star cornerback Xavien Howard.
Howard, who was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, 38th overall, has been a ballhawk his entire football career. During his time in college at Baylor, he would have 10 INTs in 29 games over 3 years, leading to his being drafted so high. Xavien, who started out slow at the NFL level with minimal playing time and no INTs in his first season in the league in 7 games played, In his second year, he would get more playing time and get four INTs in a full season.
In 2018, he really made a name for himself, with him getting 7 INTs in only 12 games played, being named to his first Pro Bowl, and being named second-team all-pro as well. The following year for Howard and the Dolphins would be forgettable, with Xavien only playing five games and getting one pick before hurting his knee with a patella sprain and missing the rest of the season.
2020 was the year of Xavien Howard. After coming off that injury-shortened season, he has something to prove and would have an all-time cornerback season for the history books interception-wise. It would take until week three, when the quarterback of the Jaguars, Gardner Minshew, would throw an INT to Xavien, which was only the start of something special, where he would have an INT in four straight games, including that Jaguars game having four picks through six games.
Following a two-game streak without an interception, he would catch fire, going on a 5-game streak of getting an interception, picking off any ball that came near him, and having a truly spectacular one vs. Patrick Mahomes and in front of future teammate Tyreek Hill. With another long INT streak, he would have nine through thirteen games. Xavien was going for the first double-digit INT since 2007, when Antonio Cromartie did it with the Chargers. In the last week of the season, in Buffalo, it would happen. In the third quarter, Xavien would pick off backup quarterback Matt Barkley, giving him 10 on the season capping off a historic season.
Xavien Howard's exceptional performance in the 2020 season solidifies his place among the elite seasons in Miami Dolphins history.