The towering spiral from Joe Flacco, the flailing arms of trailing Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore and the rich feeling of crossing the end zone, none of the rich details ever gets old for Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.
Jones emerged as a playoff hero for the Ravens during their double-overtime victory over the Broncos in the AFC divisional round, catching a 70-yard bomb from Flacco in the final minute of regulation to send the game into overtime.
As the Ravens prepare for the NFL season-opener Thursday night against the Broncos, Jones' play still resonates loudly heading into the rematch.
Jones streaked past Moore, who mistimed his leap and appeared to misread the play from the start by creeping too close to the line of scrimmage before retreating too late to adjust to the speed of the Pro Bowl kick returner.
"I think Joe caught them in a certain coverage, put it up, and completion," Jones said Sunday in the Ravens' locker room. "It happened, and it was a big one. It got us to the next level."
Jones wasn't slowed down by Broncos cornerback Tony Carter, who failed to jam him. And Moore simply didn't arrive in time to prevent Jones from streaking up the field with the football.
"I think he was trying to make a play and we caught him slipping," said Jones, who finished third in the Dancing With the Stars competition this offseason. "They weren't up for us. Bingo."
The throw from Flacco was textbook, a high, arcing spiral that landed in Jones' outstretched fingerips.
"Joe got a hell of an arm," Jones said. "Smokin' Joe."
The touchdown appeared to decrease the morale of the Broncos, who ultimately lost the game when kicker Justin Tucker delivered the game-winning field goal in the second overtime period.
"Yeah, of course," Jones said. "Everybody would be. That type of stuff happens where you think the game is over and you catch them slipping, and it changes the whole feel of the game."
For Moore, he's had to endure an entire offseason of being blamed for the playoff defeat.
He prefers not to dwell on the miscue anymore, focusing on the pending encounter.
“I don’t know who picks the schedule, but at the end of the day, it’s a great game," Moore told Denver reporters. "Absolutely.They’re the defending world champs, let’s not forget that. There’s a reason why they ended on top last year. They’ve got a great quarterback, a great team, especially some great players on defense. It’s going to be a tough task for us.”
When asked about whether he can exorcise the demons of last season by playing the Ravens right away, Moore replied: “It’s not about me. It’s about the team. I’m a team player. We all lost together, we all suffered. The good thing about it is that it’s a whole new year. Nobody remembers what you did last year. I’m excited. We’re excited as a team.”
Jones said he doesn't anticipate the Broncos necessarily playing way deep to account for the Ravens' speed after he burnt them for a touchdown in the postseason as well as cornerback Torrey Smith running past former Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey twice for scores.
"I think they're just going to play their game," Jones said. "We caught him trying to make a play. Things like that happen."
Bailey has returned to practice, but is still regarded as less than 100 percent after being hobbled during the preseason with a foot injury.
"I didn't even know he was limping," Jones said. "I'm going to expect him to be on the field no matter what. He's a heck of a player."
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