Have you ever seen a stat sheet entirely filled out? Like there isn’t a single zero under any of the big stats you look for? Well, that’s the type of game Dave Ball had for the Titans in 2008. To be fair, Ball did have a zero in one category. What was it? Fumble recoveries. That’s it.
Ball was arguably the most valuable defensive player for the Titans in this 47-10 thwomping of the Detroit Lions. Ball recorded two tackles, one TFL, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception, and one defensive touchdown. He was everywhere on the field. Keep in mind, Ball was a defensive end. Defensive ends are not supposed to record interceptions, but on one of the biggest stages in the NFL, Ball managed to pick off quarterback Daunte Culpepper and trounce into the endzone. It would end up being the only interception of Ball’s career, and while that’s great, it’s the fact that Ball also recorded one of his 15.5 career sacks, one of his three career forced fumbles, and his only career touchdown in this game as well that makes his performance so memorable.
Ball may have never been a standout defensive player throughout his seven-year career. In fact, he only started 23 games in his career, but Thanksgiving Day 2008 gave Ball the spotlight, if only for a moment, and he came through big time. Did it help Ball that this game was against the Lions who wound up going 0-16 this season? Probably. Do we care? Not at all.