With trades in consecutive offseasons, the Ravens have given Joe Flacco a formidable receiving tandem in Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans. Boldin has had five 1,000-yard seasons in his eight years in the league and Evans has averaged 15.7 yards per catch in seven seasons and hauled in 42 touchdowns in his career.
The Ravens hope Evans is the key to unlocking the shackles on the Ravens’ passing game in 2011. One of the NFL’s fastest receivers, Evans has the vertical speed to give Boldin space underneath, something that wasn’t often available late last season with Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmanzadeh lining up opposite of Boldin.
"He's the guy that pretty much takes the top off of defenses, opens up everything underneath for guys like myself and Ray Rice and other guys," Boldin said. "But he's definitely a guy that can stretch defenses."
Against Kansas City and Washington, Evans did just that. He had a 43-yard catch against the Chiefs and a 35-yard touchdown on Thursday. He has six catches for 148 yards this preseason.
"I think Lee is a fast guy and he gets behind people, and Joe's got a great arm," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Maybe it's more that Joe's a great deep thrower. He always has been."
Both Evans and Boldin have been No. 1-caliber receivers for much of their careers. Now they are working together in Baltimore, where Flacco will throw to what should be one of the league’s top duos.
Are they -- or do they have the potential to become -- the most dynamic? That’s what we are debating this morning.
Dallas (Miles Austin and Dez Bryant), New York (Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham), Philadelphia (DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin), New England (Chad Ochocinco and Wes Welker) and Houston (Andre Johnson and whoever else you throw out there) have strong tandems. Atlanta will have a very good one if rookie Julio Jones lives up to his draft position (sixth overall) playing next to Roddy White. You can make arguments for Green Bay and Indianapolis, too, though they have strength in numbers more so than they have top-end talent outside of Greg Jennings and Reggie Wayne, respectively.
Your turn: Where do Evans and Boldin rank among the top NFL’s receiving duos? And if they’re not the best, then who is?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun