MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- This is how the Miami Dolphins thought they'd win games when the season began -- get an early lead, unleash the pass rush, get a play or two from special teams, and call it a day.
That's not exactly how it went in Sunday's 35-9 victory over Denver at Hard Rock Stadium, but it was close enough, and more importantly, it ended the Dolphins' five-game losing streak.
Cornerback Xavien Howard had two interceptions, including a pick-6, running back Kenyan Drake rushed for 120 yards, sparked by a 42-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and the Dolphins, who took a 2-0 lead on a safety -- one of their two safeties -- took a 16-3 halftime lead and rode that to victory, extending Denver's losing streak to eight games.
Miami (5-7), which entered averaging 22.8 points per game at home, kept its relatively high scoring output going at Hard Rock Stadium with a season-best 35 points.
Of course, Denver (3-9), under the guidance of coach Vance Joseph, Miami's defensive coordinator last year, is nothing great. In fact, Joseph might be on the hot seat after suck a lackluster showing Sunday.
However, the Broncos entered the game with the NFL's fourth-ranked defense allowing 289.1 yards per game. And the Dolphins put 367 yards on that defense.
Denver also entered with the NFL's fourth-best rushing defense at 87.2 yards allowed per game. Miami ended with 145 rushing yards.
The Dolphins, who host New England on Monday night next week, had all the fun Sunday that they had been denied during this miserable losing streak.
This was such a laugher the Dolphins played backup quarterback David Fales in the last four minutes.
Howard, the second-year player who entered with one career interception, that coming in last year's wild-card playoff game at Pittsburgh, stepped in front of a Trevor Siemian pass midway through the second quarter, snatched the ball out of the air and raced 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 16-3 lead.