There are so many things that we can take away from the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs game. 

From beginning to end, it was a hard fought game, closing with a Josh Allen hurdle and a game winning touchdown for Dawson Knox. 

There have been many memes with that iconic Josh Allen hurdle, from people creating Allen’s Hurdled Over lists, to creating stickers and even window art of his specialty move. 

However, there is one thing we haven’t quite figured out yet: how high did Josh Allen jump to clear Justin Reid?

I’m not the best at physics and mathematics, but I have a friend who is. Greg Gill is a double major in physics and astrophysics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and I tapped him on the shoulder to help solve for the height of the Josh Allen jump. 

According to a report from Fox Sports analyst and former NFL linebacker Scott Fujita, the highest vertical jump ever is 45.5 inches, credited to Kenny Gregory with his results from the NBA Combine in 2001. 

And according to our findings,  it looks like Josh Allen may have just broken that

*If you want to skip to the solution, feel free to scroll to the bottom, but if you want to see how we found our answer, you can see our work below.*

Photo Credit: Getty Image, Canva Image
Photo Credit: Getty Image, Canva Image
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How Do You Solve For Height?

I apologize to anyone who receives PTSD from those confusing story problems we used to get back in school, but this involves the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen, so arguably this is the best that a story problem can get. 

To calculate the actual height that Josh Allen jumped on the final touchdown drive against Kansas City, you have to confirm what variables we already know in order to solve for the unknown. 

Known Variables

We know that:

  • Josh Allen stands at about 6’5.
  • Justin Reid, the Chiefs player he jumped, stands at about 6’1.

However, if you look at the still shot of the jump, you can clearly see that Justin Reid is crouched a bit. 

Photo Credit: YouTube and Canva Image
Photo Credit: YouTube and Canva Image
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Unknown Variables

We must solve for:

  • Justin Reid crouched height. 

We looked at the NFL Combine stats for Josh Allen to get an idea of what his running vertical jump would be. Unfortunately, that threw us for a loop because the NFL does not measure running vertical jumps in the combine, so there are no specific figures to give us a standard to see what is within the realm of possibility for Josh Allen to jump. 

There are other stats from the NFL Combine that we know from Josh Allen though, to give us a ballpark of where the answer should be. 

From the NFL Combine results, Josh Allen finished the 40-yd dash in 4.75 seconds. He registered a 33.5-inch standing vertical jump, and he leapt a distance of 9 feet, 11 inches. 

When we attempted to calculate the height the first time by balancing kinetic and potential energy, the height he jumped would have only been 1.3 feet, in which case we can confirm that Josh Allen was traveling faster than his 40-yd dash time. 

Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
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According to Gill, the physics and astrophysics double major and truly the mastermind behind this whole equation, another possibility is to use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve for jump height and use Justin Reid’s crouched height as the theoretical hypotenuse. 

 

Photo Credit: YouTube, Greg Gill
Photo Credit: YouTube, Greg Gill
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To solve for Justin Reid’s crouched height, Gill used a ratio to solve for Reid’s shin length and femoral length if it’s roughly the same break as Gill’s. He took that to get the hypotenuse and added it to a ratio of his body length using a proportion to Gill’s body length, then he used that new length to solve for the first triangle to find the final jump height. 

Photo Credit: YouTube, Greg Gill
Photo Credit: YouTube, Greg Gill
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You can look at the equation below. 

 

Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
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Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
Photo Credit: Greg Gill, Canva Image
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Solved Height For The Jump

Based on our findings, Josh Allen jumped 4.06 ft to clear Justin Reid in the Kansas City Chiefs game, which equates to 48.72 inches. If this approximation is correct, Josh Allen would have shattered the 2001 NBA Combine vertical jump record set by Kenny Gregory by 3 inches.

How Accurate Is This?

Given the fact that Josh Allen’s standing vertical jump was 33.5 inches, we can infer that the running start would give him a little extra elevation on the jump. This means that the solution is reasonable with a measured height of 4.06 ft. It is not confirmed though, so this is just an approximation and with any approximations, there is room for error. 

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