"We kind of put our money where our mouth is this year and went out and got the top talent that was available," Ayanbadejo said.

The first and perhaps most important block on this return was laid by Considine, who raced down the field and got position on Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, allowing Jones to run behind him.

"We watch so much film, I could have told you ahead of time that I would end up blocking No. 29 for the Steelers," Considine said.

The final block was laid by Ihedigbo, who rushed the punt from the right side to force a kick to the left, then peeled back to left sideline to pick off any unblocked Steelers. He found one and put him on his back with a hit that Brenkus said might have exceeded 3,000 pounds of force.

"I'm just looking for the most dangerous guy at the end of the return," Ihedigbo said. "I don't even know what number he was, but he was the victim of that."

End results

Jones veered to the right of Ihedigbo's spleen-shaking block at the Pittsburgh 45-yard line and split a trio of Steelers defenders while crossing the field toward the right pylon. Butler put forth a valiant effort by punter standards, but he couldn't catch Jones in a foot race to the end zone.

"[Jones] accelerated to about 20 miles per hour within two seconds," Brenkus said. "He was going between six and eight miles per hour prior to the [first] cut. Within four seconds, which was actually less than the hangtime of the punt itself, Jacoby had already beaten eight Steelers."

In large part because of Jones, the Ravens are the only team with two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, and they average an NFL-best 29.4 yards per kickoff return. They average 10.5 yards per punt return, which ranks 11th. When not returning them for touchdowns, the special teams unit has given the offense an average starting position at their 25.5-yard line after kickoffs, third best in the NFL.

Jones, who has already run into the Ravens' record book with three return touchdowns in one season and who could finish at his first Pro Bowl (or better yet, the Super Bowl) at season's end, was quick to credit his teammates.

"All of it is the blocking," said Jones, who was also hardly touched, if at all, on his 108-yard and 105-yard kickoff returns in Week 6 and Week 10, respectively.

Jones needs three more return touchdowns in his final five games to tie Devin Hester's all-time single-season record of six total return touchdowns, set in 2007. He already has the franchise's individual record, and with one more the Ravens would tie their team record of four set in 1998.

Jones says that, right now, things are moving in slow motion whenever the ball gets kicked to him. But from afar, these returns look like a ballet of blurs slamming in each other around him. Sometimes, it takes just one defender to disrupt the rhythm of a return. Other times, one fallen defender will domino into a couple of teammates, a deviation from the script that benefited the Ravens on one return.

But when the timing is perfect and the blocking synchronized, the finished work is a beautiful thing.

"When you see the whole 11 come together in that choreographed, coordinated kind of a way, it means a lot," Harbaugh said. "That's what you work so hard for. That's your work of art."