Jacoby Jones returns to form

Jacoby Jones returns to form
November 24, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Jacoby Jones uses wind to make big play

Jacoby Jones didn't start the game on Sunday as the Ravens punt returner, but he ended it with his most productive performance since the Super Bowl as the Ravens slogged to a 19-3 win over the Jets.

Tandon Doss was the Ravens punt returner for the Jets' first two punts, but in the swirling winds of M&T Bank Stadium, he let both kicks bounce. The second one took a friendly roll for the Jets and netted 67 yards.

After that, Jones took over the punt return duties, and he sparked the Ravens with five punt returns for an average of 21.6 yards.

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Two of them led to field goals, including a 20-yard return that set up the Ravens at the Jets 33-yard line early in the third quarter. Four plays later, Justin Tucker hit a 53-yard field goal for a 12-3 lead that seemed insurmountable given the way the Ravens were stuffing the Jets offense.

"Those dudes do a great job blocking," Jones said. "Hats off to them. All I do is see a lane and run."

Of course, Jones came up with the game's signature play as well, a 66-yard, fingertip-grab touchdown pass for a 19-3 lead late in the third quarter. But even if that play never happened, Jones' performance in the return game, which included a 37-yard, cut-across-the-field return that nearly went the distance, was a big factor in the Ravens win.

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Jones actually averaged more on his punt returns (21.6) than he did on his kickoff returns (19.0).

Jones came into the game with just two punt returns all season. After injuring his knee on a punt return in Week 1 at Denver when teammate Brynden Trawick plowed into him, Jones missed the next four games. When he returned, his role as a return specialist was diminished, perhaps because of his knee injury and because he was playing an increasingly large role in the offense.

But after his performance Sunday, it's fair to wonder whether he'll be returning the majority of the punts going forward.