Dec 8, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the occasional disdain his 2014 performance inspired, one truth must be recognized: The Baltimore Ravens would not be Super Bowl champions in 2012-13 without Jacoby Jones. Though his numbers may be small, his contribution was large, and for that, I am sad to see him go. What better way to pay tribute than by counting down the top-five moments from Jones’ tenure in Baltimore?
5. 73-yard kick return against Steelers, stopped by Mike Tomlin
2013 was a year of few highlights for the Baltimore Ravens, who struggled to put points on the board. In a midseason win against the arch-nemesis Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacoby Jones was well on his way to injecting a shot of adrenaline into the Ravens. With no one in front of him, Jones was ready to score on a kick return, but, wait, what’s this?! There is a coach in the way!
Yes, Mike Tomlin’s presence along the sideline slowed Jones down, allowing the Steelers to catch up and make the stop.
So why is this on the list? Because it made Mike Tomlin and the Steelers look foolish. Though the Steelers got the stop, they looked like fools in the process, and it was all made possible by Jacoby Jones’ big return.
4. Jones scores in a two-minute frenzy versus Vikings
For 58 minutes, the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings slogged through one of the most boring games one could possible imagine. The floodgates opened, and thus commenced one of the most exciting conclusions to a game in NFL history.
Kings of Kauffman
Minnesota led 12-7 for most of the fourth quarter until the Ravens struck with a one-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Dennis Pitta. The two-point conversion was good, giving the Ravens a 15-7 lead with 2:05 to play. The Vikings struck back immediately, taking a 19-15 lead with 1:27 left to play.
Thus came Jacoby Jones’ contribution to one of the most exciting finales in football. Jones found a hole, exploded through it, made the last man miss and took it to the house.
Though there would be two more touchdowns to cap off those crazy two minutes, Jones’ contribution to the win can’t be overstated.
3. Jones opens up the Super Bowl’s second half with a bang
Deep in the back of the endzone, Jacoby Jones took what should have been a routine kickoff. Like he is wont to do, Jones took it out, which is a risk few would take in the same situation.
And as he is wont to do, Jones’ confidence was rewarded. He found a seam, broke a tackle and took it back to the house, making the score 28-6 at that point. To cap it all off, Jones did Ray Lewis‘ squirrel dance. What could be better?
2. Jones does a somersault, then scores a touchdown
Jacoby Jones running open down the field… a familiar sight in 2012. This one was bigger, though. Up 14-3 with just under two minutes left in the first half in the Super Bowl, Joe Flacco spotted Jones running open downfield and uncorked an off-balance deep ball.
Jones adjusted, doing a somersault as he fell to the ground to make the catch. Some players would have just been content at that point, but not Jones. Jacoby instead got up, put a move on one defender, then outran another en route to a 56-yard touchdown, one which gave the Ravens a 21-3 lead.
1. The Mile High Miracle
This is a play that will go down in Baltimore Ravens history as arguably the most shocking, exciting and important play in franchise history.
Third and three with 44 seconds left and down 35-28, Jacoby Jones found some room down the sideline on a deep route. Blowing by the cornerback and safety alike, Jones was as open as a man could possibly be in that situation.
Despite a slight under-throw from Joe Flacco and Rahim Moore obstructing his line of sight, Jones reeled the ball in, streaking the rest of the way for the tying touchdown.
The Ravens, as you all know, went on to win that game and eventually the Super Bowl. That’s something that would not have happened without No. 12 in purple and black.
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