Did Jacoby Jones get the spark he's been searching for?
Jones had a first half of the season to forget, both offensively and on special teams.
But Sunday night in Pittsburgh, Jones found his way into the end zone for the first time this year. His 108-yard kick return for a fourth-quarter touchdown is the playmaker's biggest play of the season.
Jones has said it only takes one play to get going. While it didn't end up making a difference in a blowout defeat, it could mean good things for Jones and his confidence.
"I had 10 guys blocking for me, so I had to trust and stayed with it and it hit," Jones told The Baltimore Sun after the game.
"It was just a play we worked on all week in practice. We had chemistry. We hit the timing right. I had faith in the guys in front of me blocking and they had faith in me."
Safety Anthony Levine, tight ends Phillip Supernaw and Crockett Gillmore, and safety Will Hill set the initial key blocks to open a wide lane on the left side. Linebacker Arthur Brown, who was active for his first game, helped keep the sideline clear.
Jones did the rest, outracing a couple Steelers with his trademark long strides. He was never even touched. It was Jones' first kickoff return for a touchdown since Dec. 8 in the snow against the Minnesota Vikings.
Head Coach John Harbaugh pointed to the "really well" blocked play, and gave credit to Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg for the scheme. He also gave Jones his props. As is the case with Jones, his blazing speed makes him a major threat any time he has the ball in his hands.
"I see it as a really good play," Harbaugh said. "I thought the players executed it really well. Jacoby ran it really well – he's fast. They were squeezing the field pretty good, and he got back out to the field and just outran everybody."
Jones isn't making an impact on offense at this point. After notching just four catches for 50 yards and some drops in the first half of the season, he didn't see any offensive snaps in Pittsburgh.
He showed he can still make a big impact as a returner though, both on kickoffs and punts.
After muffing his second punt of the season against Atlanta, Jones was pulled off punt returns the following week in Cincinnati in favor of rookie Michael Campanaro. But Campanaro suffered a hamstring injury, so Jones was back in Pittsburgh.
Jones broke a 25-yard punt return to set up the Ravens' first touchdown early in the first quarter. He averaged 10.7 yards per punt return. Outside of his 108- yard kickoff return, Jones averaged 26.6 yards per return on his three other kickoffs.
Perhaps most importantly, he looked solid fielding the punts and kicks despite windy conditions at Heinz Field.