Coming into 2012, many expected the Bengals offense to take the NFL by storm behind a young and explosive group led by Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Jermaine Gresham. Already in just 9 games, the team has scored 24 or more points 5 times, and 30 points or more three times.
But an unexpected contributor to the scoring output has been cornerback Adam Jones, whose special teams return average of 17 yards per return trails only the 19.5 of Bills CB Leodis McKelvin for the NFL-lead.
Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com summed it up best on just how much of an impact Jones has had for the Bengals::
According to Elias Sports Bureau, not even Martin and Lemar Parrish, who won his title a decade earlier with an 18.8-yard average, have done what Jones has done this season with two punt returns of at least 68 yards in the same season. The only Bengal to do that before Jones was Craig Yeast in 1999.
Jones, who had an 81-yarder for a touchdown in the first two minutes of the home opener, got the people to their seats in a hurry again four minutes into Sunday’s game against the Giants. After stepping out of a tackle, he broke another as he veered left across the field to the other sideline for a 68-yarder to set up the Bengals’ 14-0 lead that never buckled in the 31-13 victory.
This also serves as a great redemption story for a player who on the verge of being banned from the NFL after multiple run-ins with the law, and rap-sheet that made him hazardous material to every NFL team. But since coming to the Bengals in 2009, Jones has remained a model citizen, and has rehabilitated his image so much that he was asked to speak at the NFL rookie symposium this year. Hopefully the redemption story continues and we see more amazing plays like this: