Ravens vs. 49ers: Receiver Anquan Boldin Needs Big Game for Baltimore Win

T.J. BrennanCorrespondent IIJanuary 21, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Anquan Boldin #81 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a touchdown passed by Joe Flacco #5 in the fourth quarter against Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

For the Baltimore Ravens to have a shot at defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, wide receiver Anquan Boldin will need to step up against the opposing secondary. 

At times during the postseason, Boldin’s performance has been overshadowed by Ray Lewisreturn to action in an attempt to win another ring. 

Boldin is a physical receiver at the line of scrimmage and causes matchup problems in the red zone, just as he did against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. 

He played a pivotal role in the Ravens’ come-from-behind victory with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, both coming from inside the red zone.   

The Ravens led the Patriots 14-13 entering the fourth quarter, but the lead immediately increased with Boldin’s first touchdown, which came on the first play. 

Just over three minutes later, Boldin struck again, this time catching the game-sealing touchdown with a little more than 11 minutes remaining on the clock. 

Throughout the 2013 NFL playoffs, the final period is when he has really turned it up, coming up big in crunch time. 

In the Wild Card Round, Boldin erupted for 145 yards on five catches. Among these catches was the game-sealing touchdown with 9:14 remaining in the fourth quarter—with a defender draped over him. 

All of his work came in the second half of that game, as he didn't catch a ball in the first half. 

This is exactly where his physicality gives him the advantage over a defensive back. Listed at 6’1” and 220 pounds, he instantly has a physical advantage over almost any secondary in the NFL. 

Boldin will have his work cut out for him on Super Bowl Sunday though, as the 49ers have allowed only 200 yards per game through the air, which is No. 4 in the league

If cornerback Carlos Rogers covers Boldin, it will be one of the more interesting matchups to watch.  Rogers is a physical defensive back, listed at 6’0" and 192 pounds. 

The 49ers also boast two hard-hitting safeties in Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner, should Boldin be able to get through Rogers in the secondary. This adds a second threat to Boldin winning the physical battle. 

Despite the tough competition, Boldin will be a problem for the 49ers defense.  If San Francisco decides to double-team Boldin, it will open up the game for wide receiver Torrey Smith on the other side of the field. 

Simply by being a matchup problem, Boldin can still have a big game, even if he doesn't have a great statistical game.  

If he can create opportunities for Smith by being disruptive, Baltimore will be on its way to a Super Bowl victory.