Cobb Finally Off and Running

It took seven games but the YAC-producing, tackle-breaking Randall Cobb returned on Sunday against Carolina (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

It took seven games, but the Randall Cobb who emerged as a playmaker in 2011 and became a star in 2012 finally showed up for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Cobb caught six passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in a blowout victory over Carolina. Beyond the obvious numbers:

— Against the Panthers, Cobb caught 6-of-7 passes, or 85.7 percent. In 2012, he caught 76.9 percent of targeted passes, the eighth-best rate in the league and No. 1 among wide receivers, according to league data.

— Against the Panthers, Cobb forced six missed tackles on those seven receptions, by Packer Report’s count. had Cobb for four missed tackles. In 2012, according to PFF, Cobb ranked fourth among receivers by forcing 15 missed tackles.

— Against the Panthers, Cobb piled up 85 yards after the catch, by Packer Report’s count. In 2012, according to league data, Cobb averaged 5.69 yards after the catch per catch, which ranked 15th among wide receivers.

“He’s a dynamic player,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers told’s Jason Wilde during his weekly radio show on Tuesday. “He does so much in the open field. You saw the move he had in Chicago, where he caught the ball over the middle and then made two guys miss. He had an incredible one in the game (on Sunday) where he caught a ball kind of behind him, cut it back, Richard (Rodgers) had a nice block, Jordy (Nelson) had a nice block to get him (a 47-yard gain). That’s the kind of stuff we’re accustomed to seeing him do.”

The word “accustomed” might be a stretch because that Cobb hadn’t appeared this season until Sunday. According to our weekly charting of missed tackles and yards after the catch, Cobb entered Sunday’s game having forced one missed tackle (against Chicago in Week 4). He had 111 yards after the catch on 29 receptions during the first six games of the season. That’s a paltry 3.83 of YAC per reception.

Against the Panthers, he averaged 14.17 YAC per reception. He forced at least one missed tackle on three of his six receptions, including three misses on a 33-yard gain (31 YAC) on Green Bay’s opening possession of the third quarter.

“You go back through the years, that’s one of the base principles of a good passing game,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. “You’re getting the ball out on time and you’re getting the ball in space to your playmakers. Randall breaks a couple of big tackles and it turns into a 16-yard gain (in the first quarter). The scramble, Aaron’s throw moving to his right and throws it to the only place he could throw it and Randall makes a heck of a catch and spins out of it and goes another 40 yards (in the second quarter). That’s what Randall is. Randall’s an outstanding football player. The ability to play from the backfield, from the slot. You can do a lot of things with him.”

Cobb had a hand in all of Green Bay’s touchdowns. On the first drive, he broke two tackles on an 8-yard reception that turned second-and-20 into third-and-12 before Nelson’s 59-yard touchdown. On the second drive, he had a 14-yard punt return and a 16-yard reception. On the third drive, he had a 14-yard reception and made a key block on James Starks’ touchdown. On the fourth scoring drive, he had his 47-yard catch-and-run, a key block on Rodgers’ 16-yard scramble on third-and-12 and a 3-yard touchdown. On the fifth scoring drive, Cobb had a 33-yard catch-and-run on third-and-6 to set up Davante Adams’ 21-yard touchdown.

“It felt really good – just to have that consistency,” Cobb said after the game. “But I want more. I want to be more. I know what I can do and I’ve got to continue to get better week in and week out. ...

“That’s the player that I’ve always been and I didn’t feel like early in the season, that I haven’t been as dynamic as I’m supposed to be and as I expect myself to be. To be able to come out and have a game like this is definitely something that I hope can continue moving forward. I’m going to continue to work on the things daily and continue to be able to break tackles the way I did tonight.”

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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