The last time Terrance Mitchell forced a fumble, he did so against his current employer.
It was at NRG Stadium, where what once appeared to be a touchdown for the New England Patriots became a touchback for the Houston Texans upon review. And for the veteran cornerback, who stood at the goal line with his left fist waiting, it marked the third punch-out of the fall.
It also marked ninth of his NFL career.
No member of New England’s current corner depth chart has had a hand in more forced fumbles than Mitchell, who signed a one-year deal with $350,000 guaranteed as a free agent in March. Only five defensive backs around the league have forced more in the regular season since the former seventh-round pick out of Oregon made his debut in 2015.
As for the names on the other side of Mitchell’s tally, here’s the list through 83 games and additional stops with the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.
Jan. 3, 2016: Washington quarterback Colt McCoy
Sacked on third down for a loss of 14 yards, McCoy’s fumble in relief duty would be recovered by interior lineman Josh LeRibeus. It arrived under the duress of a nickel blitz that flushed the pocket. The punt unit stepped on going into halftime of Week 17 at AT&T Stadium.
Sept. 16, 2018: Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas
An eight-yard reception by Thomas reached the turf because of Mitchell, who pried it free as the future NFL Offensive Player of the Year pivoted. Safety Damarious Randall recovered to curtail New Orleans’ opening drive.
Sept. 16, 2018: Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Mitchell struck again one quarter later at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2018, turning a catch three yards behind the line of scrimmage into an opportunity that he would fall on. It would be the penultimate fumble of Ginn’s 193-game NFL tenure.
Sept. 27, 2020: Washington running back Antonio Gibson
With five seconds left before intermission at FirstEnergy Stadium, Washington’s rookie rusher picked up a reception for a dozen yards. Then Mitchell met Gibson for a fumble picked up by linebacker B.J. Goodson.
Dec. 6, 2020: Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown
Midway through the third quarter at Nissan Stadium, a pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the sophomore Pro Bowl wideout gained 16. The subsequent fumble, however, ended up in the hands of Tennessee tight end MyCole Pruitt in the end zone. Brown logged four receptions for 87 yards on the afternoon. He crossed paths with Mitchell again the following season with Houston.
Dec. 14, 2020: Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins
A week removed from his last jarred fumble, Mitchell got his next in a 35-34 game. It transpired on a run that netted five yards before center Bradley Bozeman retained possession for Baltimore. Dobbins would score a pair of touchdowns in meetings with Mitchell and the Browns in 2020.
Sept. 12, 2021: Jaguars running back James Robinson
Last year’s season opener saw Jacksonville’s reigning 1,000-yard rusher slip out to catch a pass for nine. The fumble Mitchell tracked down to create from there rolled out of bounds. An interception thrown by No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence followed one snap later.
Oct. 3, 2021: Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs
In the third quarter of what became a 40-0 rout at Highmark Stadium, a short completion to the 2020 league leader in receptions and receiving yards broke loose. Buffalo offensive tackle Daryl Williams corralled it, and Diggs finished the outing with seven catches for 114 yards.
Oct. 10, 2021: Patriots running back Damien Harris
Amid a campaign that featured 15 rushing touchdowns, New England’s lead back came within inches of another. But No. 39 stayed square as the last line of defense behind blocks from tight end Jonnu Smith, receiver N’Keal Harry and tackle Justin Herron. The result temporarily kept the lead at 12-6 for Houston.
According to Stathead, Josh Norman, Malcolm Jenkins, Vonn Bell, Marlon Humphrey and K’Waun Williams check in as the lone defensive backs with more forced fumbles than Mitchell dating back to 2015.
Marcus Peters and ex-Patriots Super Bowl champion Logan Ryan stand alongside him in a tie over that span.