Ranking Randall Cobb’s top 10 moments with the Green Bay Packers.
Randall Cobb has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, completing a great eight-year run with the team he was drafted to.
Here are 10 of his best moments as a Packer.
10. One-handed catch against Cardinals in playoffs (Divisional playoffs, 2016)
The only reason this one isn’t higher on the list is because it didn’t even count. In the first half of a tense divisional playoff game with the Arizona Cardinals, Cobb hauled in an absurd one-handed bomb from Aaron Rodgers. The play was called back by penalty, but the ensuing fall from the outstretched leap left Cobb with a bruised lung and caused him to repeatedly spit out blood on the sidelines.
Cobb was one of the most fearless receivers in the NFL, always willing to get smacked over the middle of the field just to haul in a first down. The Packers lost Cobb for the game on that play, leaving them without Jordy Nelson, Cobb, Davante Adams, and Ty Montgomery for the game.
The catch was part of one of the best playoff games in recent memory, perhaps only dwarfed by the similar heartbreak the team suffered in the 2009 playoffs in the same building against the Kurt Warner-led Cardinals.
9. Dagger touchdown against Rams (Week 7, 2012)
Up a grand total of 20-13 against the lowly Rams late in the fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers and the stumbling Green Bay offense faced a crucial third-and-nine from the Rams 39-yard-line. Rodgers rolled to his left and threw an absolute missile over James Laurinaitis to Cobb in the end zone. Cobb made an incredible adjustment to the ball and hauled it in between two defensive backs to seal the win for Green Bay.
Cobb was always among Rodgers’ most trusted targets when he escaped the pocket. The Packers routinely practiced improvising routes once their quarterback got outside the pocket. Cobb was as savvy a receiver as there was in the game when it came to finding open holes in the defense after the initial routes were covered.
So much of the Packers’ success that year came on the fly, despite the Packers having a fairly developed playbook for the 2012 season.
8. Game-winner against Lions (Week 11, 2012)
Similarly to the touchdown against the Rams, Cobb put the nail in the coffin of the rival Lions when he reeled in a game-winning touchdown on the road in Detroit. Facing a 20-14 deficit with just over two minutes left at the 22-yard line of the Lions, Cobb lined up in the slot and received an audible signal from Aaron Rodgers amidst the deafening noise in Motown.
Again in between two defenders, Cobb swung to his left and caught the ball despite being blatantly interfered with by Jacob Lacey. Ricardo Silva also came crashing towards the ball, but Cobb managed to snag it before either defensive back could make a play on it. The Packers ended up getting a crucial win and sent their division rivals home. Cobb’s 2012 campaign cemented him as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL.
7. Game-winner against Bears (Week 1, 2018)
Another horrible start by a lethargic Packers offense saw them fall behind 20-0 against the rival Bears on opening night. A hobbled Aaron Rodgers faced a third-and-10 before completing a pass to Cobb, who took it 75 yards to the house and outran both Khalil Mack and future Packer Adrian Amos.
Cobb’s miraculous touchdown gave the Packers a thrilling win over their division rival and marked one of Cobb’s best moments as a Packer in his last season on the team. Cobb had clearly lost a step on the field and was never quite as quick and fast as he was when he entered the league, but his elite hands and twitchy moves in the open field still made him an effective receiver.
The Packers had struggled to get Cobb the ball throughout the game, but finally managed to spring Cobb loose for the game-winning score.
6. Sideline catch at Jerry World (Divisional playoffs, 2017)
Another thrilling playoff matchup with the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas was in full swing when Randall Cobb quietly made one of the biggest plays in the game. With Jordy Nelson out for the game with broken ribs, Cobb was left as the team’s top receiver. After jumping to a 21-3 lead, the Cowboys tightened things to a tenuous 21-13 at halftime.
The first play of the second half was a tone-setter for the rest of the game. Starting from their own 25-yard line, Aaron Rodgers dropped back and pump faked to Jared Cook before escaping to his right. Rodgers urged Cobb to come back to his side of the field with a hand gesture, and Cobb did just that. Just as Rodgers was getting anvil-smashed by Maliek Collins, he unleashed a vintage Aaron Rodgers bullet down the sidelines to Cobb who had separated from Byron Jones.
Cobb made a spectacular play as he toe-tapped on the sideline and completed a 26-yard reception to start the drive that ended in a Jared Cook touchdown. The Packers went on to win the game 34-31 and advance to the NFC Championship.
5. Jaw-dropping snag at Soldier Field (Week 15, 2012)
In a game Brandon Marshall of the Bears deemed “the biggest of my career”, the Packers traveled to Chicago to play a key division game on the road. Marshall quickly answered the bell, scoring a touchdown moments into the second quarter.
On the ensuing series, the Packers faced a third-and-six from their own 34-yard line. Rodgers again sprinted out to his right-hand side and fired another pinpoint laser to Cobb who was blanketed by two defenders.
Cobb reached all the way up and the ball stuck to his mitts like superglue. The 31-yard reception was immediately protested by the Bears’ sideline, but replay showed it to be a clean catch. The sensational reception set up a James Jones touchdown and an eventual Packers win.
4. One-hander during the Sunday night massacre (Week 10, 2014)
Everyone likes a good old-fashioned beatdown. That’s what the Packers did to the Chicago Bears on a Sunday night in Week 10 of the 2014 season. The Packers walked into the locker room at halftime up 42-0 over their arch rivals, and punctuated their historic first half with a catch to remember from Randall Cobb.
Just before halftime, Cobb caught an unthinkable one-handed touchdown over helpless Demontre Hurst. The 18-yard score might even qualify as the best catch of Cobb’s career. “That’s sick. That’s just sick”, commented Chris Collinsworth, who went to three Pro Bowls himself as a receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Packers went on to win the game 55-14.
3. Wrong-route touchdown during debut (Week 1, 2011)
The Packers were in a tight contest with Drew Brees during their first game of their Super Bowl defense in 2011. The win was the first of a 13-game winning streak that ended late in the season against the Chiefs. During his first game as a pro, Cobb mistakenly ran a stick route into the middle of the field only to break wide open from Roman Harper and juke out Malcolm Jenkins on his way to a touchdown and a 14-point lead.
The rookie from Kentucky already looked like an extremely explosive receiver after just his first game in the NFL. Slotting in between Greg Jennings, James Jones, Donald Driver, and Jermichael Finley, Cobb found a tremendous role for himself. Both Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers told the media after the game that he had in fact run the wrong route on the play, before Rodgers had no choice but to feed the wide open Cobb the rock.
2. Cartwheel touchdown in shootout with Saints (Week 1, 2011)
Also during his stellar debut, Cobb tied an NFL record with a 109-yard touchdown on a kick return that Mike McCarthy also remarked he should not have brought out of the end zone in the first place.
The amazing return featured a ridiculous spin move and broken tackle on former Packer Korey Hall. Cobb sprinted the remaining 65 yards untouched and immediately won over everyone who might’ve slighted him for technically making the wrong play on his earlier score.
The touchdown gave the Packers a 15-point lead against the Saints, who came back and pushed the Packers to the brink in a thrilling Week 1 win. The Packers would not have won this game without their second-round rookie, who immediately began discussions about whether or not he was going to be the offensive rookie of the year in the NFL.
1. Playoff-clincher in frigid Soldier Field (Week 17, 2013)
Once again against the Chicago Bears, Randall Cobb made the biggest play of his Packers career with under a minute to go against the Bears. The Packers had endured one of the most turbulent seasons of the Aaron Rodgers era, losing both Rodgers and Cobb for large chunks of the season. Cobb had suffered a broken leg during an early season win against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in Week 6.
Rodgers broke his collarbone on a Sunday night against the Bears three weeks later, and the Packers nosedived towards three straight losses, a tie, and another loss before salvaging their season and setting up a season-ending clash with the Bears in snowy Chicago. Both Rodgers and Cobb managed to come back for the game.
After two first half interceptions from the rusty Rodgers and a bizarre Jarrett Boykin touchdown, the Packers found themselves trailing 28-27 with the ball and less than five minutes on the clock. The Packers converted two clutch fourth downs, one on a short run by John Kuhn, and another on a diving grab by Jordy Nelson to keep the team’s season on life support. But neither of those conversions compared to what happened next.
On fourth down and eight with 46 seconds left just past midfield, the Bears sent the entire state of Illinois at Aaron Rodgers. John Kuhn somehow managed to shuffle his feet in the ice cold turf at Soldier Field and get just enough of Julius Peppers, making a block that somewhat rivals Jerry Kramer‘s championship-winning block of Jethro Pugh in the Ice Bowl.
Rodgers rolled left and found Cobb desperately flagging down his quarterback, who fired a 48-yard rocket to Cobb to send the Packers to the playoffs. Green Bay lost to the 49ers the following week, but it unquestionably qualifies as Cobb’s signature career moment.