In a game that was defined by defense, one big scoring play proved to be the difference.
The Ravens’ return man took a punt 63 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, which was the lone touchdown for the Ravens in Sunday’s 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Jacoby came up big again,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said as he looked over and smiled at Jones during the in the postgame press conference.
Jones’ score gave the Ravens the lead and they would never relinquish it.
The score was Jones’ third touchdown return in the last five weeks, and first punt return on the season. Jones had already made Ravens and NFL history this season with his long kickoff returns, and he said that coming into Sunday’s game the punt return team had their sights set on getting in the end zone.
“All week we’ve been hassling each other and been like, ‘We got two kickoff returns for touchdowns, but we don’t have a punt return yet,’” Jones said. “That was one thing we emphasized in practice. We worked on it real hard. That thing hit like it did in practice, and those boys did a great job of blocking and I just did what I do best, and that’s run [as] fast as possible.”
On the return, Jones fielded the punt around the left hash, then took a few side steps before finding a seam in the coverage and hitting the open field. He started down the left sideline, then cut back across the middle of the field.
The closest the Steelers came to bringing him down was nipping at his ankles before he broke free and beat punter Drew Butler to the end zone.
“As soon as I caught it, I paused so they could get down and get on their blocks,” Jones said. “When I got inside of them, they all were trying to get outside the wall, and I saw nothing but open field in the right, so I was like, ‘Why not go this way?’”
Once he got into the end zone, Jones debuted another one of his dance moves (seen in the embedded video), which has become a standard practice for every one of his touchdowns.
“He’s the best dancer on the team, just ask him?” Harbaugh joked.
“I’m proud of Jacoby, proud of the special teams. Those are the hidden points that make differences in games, and he’s had three touchdowns now so that’s huge.”
In addition to Jones’ big play on special teams, Harbaugh also gave credit to rookie kicker
“I think the field had him a little bit there on the one miss and then he came back and figured it out and made the adjustment and made the next kick.”