There will be no encore performance for Xavien Howard against the New England Patriots this year.
Howard’s absence is notable, and not just because he’s one of the Dolphins’ top defenders. The 25-year-old found rare success against quarterback Tom Brady during the Patriots’ trip to Miami last season, becoming the 10th player ever to intercept Brady twice in the same game.
Those two picks came in a 27-20 New England loss that arguably was Brady’s worst game of the 2017 campaign, as he posted a season-low 59.5 passer rating while completing just 55.8 percent of his passes (24-of-43).
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