Super Bowl notebook: Jones ties kickoff return record
By Alan Robinson
Published: Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 9:40 p.m.
Jacoby Jones tied an NFL record earlier this season with a 108-yard kickoff return touchdown.
He tied it again Sunday.
Jones, whose punt return touchdown in Pittsburgh beat the Steelers in November, was only 2 yards in front of the rear out-of-bounds line when he fielded the kickoff to start the second half of the Super Bowl on Sunday night. Rather than downing the ball, he took off up the the middle against the surprised 49ers defenders, cut toward the sideline at about the 35-yard line and wound up in the end zone 108 yards later — the longest kickoff return in NFL history.
Jones' touchdown made it 28-3, and whatever energy the 49ers still had — no team has rallied from more than 10 points down at halftime to win the Super Bowl — possibly evaporated during an unprecedented 35-minute delay created by a power outage in the Superdome.
A power surge knocked out a large bank of field lights and cut power to parts of the stadium, including the press box.
And what is it with power delays and the 49ers? Their late-season game against the Steelers in December 2011 was twice delayed by power outages totaling about 34 minutes.
Take it away
No team gets takeaways like the Ravens in the NFL playoffs.
Or, as Marshal Yanda said last week during pre-Super Bowl interviews, it's the one factor that most separates the Ravens from the rival Steelers these days. The Steelers were one of the worst giveaway-takeaway teams in the league and the Ravens one of the best.
With the 49ers driving in the second quarter and a chance to take the lead, LaMichael James fumbled on a hit by linebacker Courtney Upshaw, and Arthur Jones recovered. The Ravens converted that into Joe Flacco's 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dennis Pitta.
Then, on the 49ers next possession, Colin Kaepernick threw the first interception in 170 passing attempts by a 49ers quarterback in the franchise's six Super Bowls. It was Ed Reed's record-tying ninth career postseason interception.
The turnovers were the 37th and 38th forced by the Ravens in the playoffs since 2008. The Packers are second over that span, with 17 takeaways.
No passing fancy
Don't look for the pistol offense to go the route of the single wing — at least not yet.
Offensive gimmicks come and go in the NFL — remember the 300-pound goal-line running back? — but a guy who knows something about playing quarterback doesn't think an alignment in which a running back lines up behind the quarterback in a shotgun formation will be a passing fad.
Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers thrived in the offense late in the season because defenses were forced to defend his running as well as his throwing.
“Absolutely there is a future,” Brett Favre said Sunday on the NFL Network. “You look at the production these (quarterbacks) are putting up week after week and the stress it puts on defenses.”
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh incorporates both the pistol and read option into an offense that was the best in the playoffs heading into the Super Bowl.
“It's possible that it is here to stay; don't make any predictions on that,” Harbaugh said. “I think that it's been successful for us because of the players that we have executing it.”
Perrysburg, Ohio, the cradle of coaches. And managers.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was born in Perrysburg, Ohio, while father Jack coached high school football there. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was born in nearby Toledo. Perrysburg also is the hometown of Tigers manager Jim Leyland, the former Pirates manager, and former Oilers coach Jerry Glanville.
There was a third Harbaugh coaching in the Super Bowl.
“Jay Harbaugh is (49ers coach) Jim's oldest son, and he's on the coaching staff for the Ravens. He's doing the grunt work there (as the) assistant strength coach,” said Jack Harbaugh, the father of the two head coaches, John Harbaugh of Baltimore and Jim Harbaugh of San Francisco. “He does video and works in the weight room, and he just graduated from Oregon State. ... You've got father and son competing.”
The Ravens said the younger Harbaugh is a coaching intern.
Ravens fans rule
Not surprisingly, there appeared to be more Ravens fans than 49ers fans inside the Superdome, which was hosting its first post-Hurricane Katrina Super Bowl.
When fans were asked to signal support for their team before the game, Ravens fans were clearly louder. But 49ers fans appeared to have acquired more of the higher-quality seats between the goal lines in the lower level.
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