The good news: we get to break down film of a special teams play today, and we haven’t done that yet.
The bad news: we have to watch it with the Steelers in their bumble bee throwbacks, and we really don’t want to do that.
Be that as it may, it’s still a great play: a touchdown return with the latest crossover talent from the NFL, Dancing With the Stars’ own Jacoby Jones:
So, what happened?
1. Setting the Wall
What’s a “lane” anyway? It is what is seems: an open linear space for a ball carrier to run through. Think of it in terms of traffic: If you want to pass someone on the highway, there needs to be an open lane beside you so that you can accelerate and pass (and not make any impolite comments). To free up this lane for Jones, Sean Considine works towards his outside blocker (which looks like inside from this camera angle) to push him inside and open up a lane for Jones. You can see that Jones has that lane because he can run in between two Ravens who are blocking for him.
2. Stretch and Cut
What if Jones runs right up the middle? The fastest way from one point to another is a straight line, right? In science, yes. In football, when there are 300 lb men running toward you full speed ahead…no. If Jones had run straight up the middle he would have been tackled midfield by a pile of defenders. Instead, he cuts left to spread the defenders out toward the sideline, then cuts back inside with great speed and great protection so that they can’t catch him.
3. Staying With Downfield Blocks
Let’s just review, for a moment. Initially, Brian Ayanbadejo blocks his man around the 7 yard line. He stays with that block until Jones passing him at the 35-yard line. That’s discipline right there, nearly 30 yards of staying with a block. With Ayanbadejo and the other Ravens covering their blocking responsibilities, Jones only has to beat the punter to get into the end zone. The only punter who strikes fear into the hearts of receivers is Giants punter Steve Weatherford, so Jones is free and clear to score.
I’m sure he’ll be adding some dance moves to his post-touchdown routine next season.