Feb. 6, 2012
Jones and Thomas both played on special teams in the game as the Giants won their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.
In his first season in the NFL following back-to-back All-America campaigns as a linebacker at Michigan State, Jones recorded 31 tackles (26 solo, five assists) for the Giants in 2011. He also compiled seven stops (six solo, one assist) in four postseason games.
For Jones, his rookie season was a roller coaster of emotions.
"First of all, starting from the draft, expecting to go high and going in the sixth round, to the lockout and not even knowing if there's going to be a season," said Jones at Super Bowl Media Day. "Then we lose our first game, I'm starting, and it's all up and down.
"We went through a losing streak, and we don't know what's going to happen - but we started to catch on fire at the right time and everybody is playing together and nobody cares about the credit. We have a bunch of guys, all ages, all different types of experience, all putting in the effort and not caring who the glory goes to. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
A second-round draft choice in 2008, Thomas played his fourth season in the NFL in 2011 and his second with the Giants. He led New York in kickoff returns in the regular season with 607 yards on 25 returns (24.3 avg.). Thomas also had three catches for 37 yards and five tackles (four solo, one assist). He made his biggest impact in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, recovering two fumbles on punt returns, including one in overtime that led to Lawrence Tynes' 31-yard game-winning field goal in the 20-17 victory.
"It was real nice to be a part of the success of that game," Thomas said at Super Bowl Media Day when talking about the NFC Championship Game. "Even on special teams, going down there and scooping up some fumbles, things like that don't happen too often, to have two fumble recoveries. To be right there on the spot, just working hard and hustling down the field, it felt real good."
Former Spartan quarterback Brian Hoyer dressed for the Patriots but did not see game action.