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The Physics of Khalil Mack



I know this blog is all about baseball but sometimes special moments must be capitalized upon... and this is one of those moments.  In light of the great ball game my Raiders had today (hey Justin :)) I thought I would do a blog post on the best defensive end in the league: Khalil Mack.  His tipped pass in the 4th quarter and strip sack later on pretty much sealed the game for Oakland and in particular I want to focus on the tipped pass.  Believe it or not, the physics behind this play are pretty interesting and I had a lot of fun thinking about this play.  It all starts when Mack used speed to his advantage to run around the outside of the offensive lineman.  By doing this, he was able to keep most of the force from the 300+ pound lineman from impeding his velocity and momentum.  Because of his speed built from accelerating into the pocket, he could then take a looping path to Tyrod Taylor and still have time to have an effect on the pass.  Using his incredible strength coupled with speed he fought off both the lineman and the centrifugal force resulting from the circular path and got a had on the ball and Taylor's arm.  At the point of release, other than gravity, the ball had 2 fources acting on it.  It was being propelled forward by Taylor's hand and then the frictional force from Mack's hand was both restricting forward movement and causing end-over-end rotational movement.  This combination in forces put unwanted torque and other outside forces on the ball that resulted in a week, wobbling pass that was picked off by safety Nate Allen inside the Red Zone.  

Basically all of this physics talk is just a long way of saying one thing: Khalil Mack is a beast.  Good game Buffalo.

Here's a link to the video of the play.


And for your additional viewing pleasure, here's a video of my favorite player right now, Marquette King and yet another stupid way to get a penalty in the NFL...




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