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Jacoby Jones saves best for Ravens' Super win

Monday - 2/4/2013, 2:08am  ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) runs for a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- What a sensational way to close out the season for Jacoby Jones.

The Baltimore Ravens' All-Pro return man was at his best in the Super Bowl on Sunday, first hauling in a 56-yard touchdown pass and then amazing the Superdome crowd with a record 108-yard kickoff return for a score -- matching the longest play in NFL history in any game, regular or postseason.

The scores put the Ravens way ahead before the 49ers rallied, but Baltimore held them off for a 34-31 win.

And Jones did it in his hometown, where his mother cooked meals for the team during their stay in New Orleans.

"It's a great feeling man. It's what you work for through the offseason," said Jones. "Through the camp, many camps, through grind and sweat, the cold tub and the hot tubs -- all of that has paid off right here."

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound speedster, who went to Lane College in Tennessee, set four Super Bowl records and equaled two others. He now has the marks for most combined yards (290), longest play, longest kickoff return and longest kickoff return for a touchdown.

He had five kickoff returns for 206 yards, two punt returns for 28 yards and caught one pass for 56 yards.

In the AFC title game two weeks earlier against Denver, Jones was on the receiving end of Joe Flacco's 70-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds that forced overtime and led to a Ravens double overtime victory.

On his TD catch, Jones got behind Chris Culliver late in the first half and hauled in a pass from Joe Flacco before falling down. He quickly got back up and worked his way into the end zone for the score. He then opened the second half with his return to put the Ravens ahead 28-6.

His favorite?

"The passes," he said. "It was just all the plays we ran through in practice. The line did a great job of blocking and Joe put up a decent throw for me to catch."

What about that return?

"All year we've been running along the sideline on the return" said Jones. "They did not expect us to run it down the middle. ... That's my favorite return."

During the season, he averaged 30.7 yards on 38 kickoff returns, tops in NFL, and had two scores, one covering 108 yards.

Jones was 5-7, 160 pounds -- "with bricks in my pockets," he said -- when he graduated high school, walked on at Lane and said he just "took off."

"I've been an underdog all my life," he said.

Now he'll get a Super Bowl ring.

___

CLOSE BUT NO LOMBARDI: The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history was 10 points. The San Francisco 49ers were on the verge of rallying from a 22-point deficit but fell short in a 34-31 loss to the Ravens.

That allowed Baltimore to become the 21st Super Bowl winner to never trail in the game. Joe Flacco's 13-yard TD pass to Anquan Boldin gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead early on, and the 49ers got as close as 31-29.

The last wire-to-wire winner was Green Bay in its 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in the 2011 Super Bowl.

___

SOCIAL STATISTICS: Twitter kept its own Super Bowl stats, and following the game said there were about 22.1 million total tweets about the game and halftime show, including 5.5 million during Beyonce's halftime performance.

The players most mentioned on the site, in order, where Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick and Jacoby Jones.

The subject that generated the most intense activity, generated in tweets per minute, was Beyonce's halftime show, with the frequency of tweets rising as high as 268,000 per minute at the conclusion of the show.

The power outage in the Superdome, which caused a 34-minute delay early in the third quarter, generated as many as 231,500 per minute, the most at any point other than halftime during the game.

Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown generated 185,000 tweets per minute, even more than when the clock struck zero and the Ravens had won, which rose as high as 183,000 per minute.

___

SACK HAPPY: Ravens defensive end Paul Kruger found a unique way to celebrate the first of his two sacks Sunday night.

After collaring 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Kruger waved his fingers and arms as if he was conducting an orchestra.

"I'd like to be a maestro after I (retire)," he said with a grin. "That's just what came to mind, I don't know."

Kruger, who becomes a free agent during the offseason, finished with 4
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