NEW ORLEANS -- Wide receiver/returner Jacoby Jones has been money for the Baltimore Ravens in the postseason. And that is how he felt Sunday after stunning the San Francisco 49ers with a 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half of Super Bowl XLVII.
"I feel like a million dollars, " Jones said after the hard-fought game.
It took only 11 seconds for Jacoby to make the longest play in Super Bowl history and give the Ravens a 28-6 lead that seemed solid at the time but was tested dramatically until the final minutes of a 34-31 victory.
He made the whole thing sound simple.
"I saw daylight because of my blockers, and that was all I needed, " he said.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the return gave the team some much needed daylight.
"We deferred so we got the second-half kickoff, and you do that because you want to make a statement with your first possession after the half," Harbaugh said. "Jacoby made that statement for us."
Jones' return was his second touchdown of the game. In the second quarter, he caught a 56-yard touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco to give the Ravens as 21-3 lead.
"Unbelievable," Flacco said of the play. "It was third-and-10, so it was a perfect time to run that little pump that we ran. I kind of said to (Anquan Boldin), 'You think we should pump it here?' Right as I was saying that, our coordinators were saying, 'We're going to pump this.'
"It was just that perfect depth, third-and-10, just enough so that they could come up and bite on it -- think that we're throwing the ball to the sticks. I had to step up and throw the ball on the run, and Jacoby had a great concentration. I didn't want to overthrow him there. He just did a great job in coming down with that football and getting in the end zone."
A wide-open Jones made the catch while falling down at the 8-yard line. Because he wasn't touched, he got up and eluded two defenders to get into the end zone.
Harbaugh said the contributions of Jones and safety Ed Reed, who had an interception, were special because they are from New Orleans.
"Jacoby has been a blessing to this team," Harbaugh said. "We are so grateful to have him on this team ... but those were just two phenomenal plays.
"The kick return was well-blocked, and Jacoby made it with his speed. The other play to go up, make the catch, go down and outrun someone to the corner of the end zone. That should go down in Super Bowl history."
The return was originally measured as 109 yards, which would have tied for the longest possible score in any NFL game.
In Super Bowl XLI, Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. Jones was in Indianapolis training for the NFL Combine when Hester made that run, and he said he thought about the play "hundreds of times" as he prepared for this game
In Baltimore's divisional playoff game against Denver, Jones caught a 70-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 35 and push the Ravens toward a 38-35, double-overtime victory.
Jones had another 108-yarder among his three return touchdowns in the 2012 regular season.