The Super Bowl was a classic game for Ravens veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, a continuation of his historic postseason.
Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown catch, during a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
His production included converting a third-and-7 with a 30-yard catch to extend a drive, and connecting on a third-and-3 with a 30-yard completion where he outmuscled 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver.
"He's just a huge playmaker," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "He's one of those guys that, without question, you have to find ways to get him the ball. He's going to make some things happen. In extremely tough situations, he plays big."
That was the case for Boldin throughout the playoffs.
After catching 65 passes for 921 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season, Boldin hauled in 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs, as he averaged 17.3 yards per reception.
His catches and receiving yards were both Ravens single-season playoff records.
The yardage ranks Boldin seventh in NFL playoff history behind Larry Fitzgerald, Hakeem Nicks, Jerry Rice, Steve Smith, Charlie Brown and Anthony Carter.
And his catches tied him for sixth in NFL playoff history with Joseph Addai, Tony Nathan and Dan Ross.
"Tough, physical, unselfish, Anquan is a warrior," Ravens receivers coach Jim Hostler said. "He's a football player. He embodies what this team is all about."
Midway through the fourth quarter, Boldin beat Carlos Rogers for a 15-yard catch to extend a drive capped by Justin Tucker's 38-yard field goal.
“He came up huge,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “He did a great job on getting open on some of the routes that he had. And we relied on him big time at the end with one of those third downs.
"They rotated over the top of him, so you really wouldn’t throw that ball too much. He got a little bit of separation there and he did a great job of catching the football. That’s a beast right there.”
Boldin doesn't really care about his statistics, though.
“Everything that you do, everything that you work for is to get to this moment, to get to this point,” Boldin said. “Over my career, this has been what it’s all about. The personal accolades doesn’t mean much to me.
"The money doesn’t mean that much. Winning the Super Bowl, this is why I play. This is why I play through injuries. This is what I get up early in the morning to work out. All for this moment right here.”
Although there has been speculation that Boldin could be a potential salary-cap casualty since he has a $7.531 million salary-cap figure and a $6 million base salary in the final year of his contract, the reality is the Ravens would like to hold onto him.
They haven't reached out yet to Boldin to initiate a potential contract extension, but it's regarded as a strong possibility at this point since none of the younger receivers have emerged as a potential replacement.
"You never know because it always changes," Hostler said of the receiving corps. "We'll see what happens. We love these guys right now. They're warriors. I wouldn't want to be with anybody else right now."
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