HALF A TON OF HURT
At 5 ft. 11 in. and 199 pounds, Marcus Trufant is an average-size NFL defensive back (DB). Those stats don't stand out in a league where more than 500 players weighed 300-plus pounds at the 2006 training camps. But a DB's mass combined with his speed -- on average, 4.56 seconds for the 40-yard dash -- can produce up to 1600 pounds of tackling force, according to Timothy Gay, a physics professor at the University of Nebraska and author of The Physics of Football.
HITTING THE DECK
Researchers rate a field's shock absorbency with a metric called G-Max. To measure it, an object that approximates a human head and neck (about 20 sq. in. and 20 pounds) is dropped from a height of 2 ft. A low G-Max means the field absorbs more energy than the player. Trufant and Lewis landed on grass in Philly's new stadium, which has a cushy G-Max of just over 60. Synthetic surfaces have G-Max ratings of up to 120. The hardest turf: frozen grass.
LUGGING THE G-LOAD
Most people associate high g-forces with fighter pilots or astronauts. But common earthbound events can also boost g's. Few things can match the g-load of...