The science behind Randall Cobb's return

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who said, “holy crap, what was that?” or a facsimile thereof last week when Randall Cobb returned a kick 108 yards for a touchdown to help spark the Green Bay Packers to a 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The season opening performance by Cobb not only ignited the Packers and their legions of fans, but it caught the eyes of the producers of ESPN’s Sport Science who will feature The runback as the play of the week.

Of most interest to the science of the play is Cobb’s ability to take a hit, spin out of it, keep his balance, land and continue running in what seemed a single motion.

Quoted in a story by Tyler Dunne today on, Sport Science host John Brenkus says, “In the fifth of a second between his contact with Torrence and his likely impact with the ground, three arms keep the play alive: Cobb’s right arm, and the arms of running running back John Kuhn. For less than a third of a second, these arms support the majority of Cobb’s weight, but it’s all the time he needs to get his feet back under him.”

It was an amazing play that can only be explained through science. 

This video helps explain things:

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