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Week 1 vs. NYJ
Receiving: 7 / 110 / 0 on 10 targets
Anquan Boldin was the standout player on the football field for the Ravens without a doubt. Boldin caught everything thrown his way, showing soft hands on each occasion. He showed his quickness when he made a man miss in the flat off a Flacco play action pass. Boldin faced man coverage often in this game, and Flacco continued to find him. Boldin beat rookie corner Kyle Wilson down the seam in the 3rd quarter to get the Ravens out of a very tough spot inside their own 10 yard line. Flacco clearly has a great chemistry with Boldin, who caught a terrific back shoulder fade on the left sideline from Flacco.
More than anything, Boldin showed how dependable a receiver he will prove to be in this Ravens offense. When Flacco was faced with the blitz and he had to release the ball quickly, he found Boldin who always showed good hands and made crucial catches.
Week 2 vs. CIN
Receiving: 5 / 35 / 0 on 8 targets
It was going to be hard enough to make receptions with the Cincinnati secondary all over him but when you factor in the inaccurate throws of Flacco it's not hard to see why Boldin had a very subpar day. Owners are looking for more than 35 yards but Boldin just could not get in a rhythm. Boldin wasn't dropping a lot of balls but he had a tough time getting separation. Again, when he did manage to get some space Flacco could not connect with him.
Week 3 vs. CLE
Passing: 1 - 1, -6 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Receiving: 8 / 142 / 3 on 11 targets
Boldin's command performance was due in part to his terrific instincts going after the high ball, but the Browns secondary deserves an assist for letting him run free in the secondary. Boldin also took an end around and threw back to Ray Rice for a loss on a gadget play and could have had a fourth TD if not for a last-second pass breakup.
Week 4 vs. PIT
Rushing: 1 / 3 / 0
Receiving: 7 / 68 / 0 on 10 targets
As expected, Boldin still appears to be Flacco's favorite target. His combination of size and speed give him the strength of some tight ends but the playmaking ability of a wide receiver. There were a few plays on which he was well-covered but was still able to make a play. One such play was when he caught a pass about 8 yards from the line of scrimmage and was immediately wrapped by a Steelers' DB while still in mid-air. Upon his return to the ground, Boldin was able to extend forward to get a couple more yards and a first down. The strength necessary to hit the ground while being engaged by a defender and to lunge for that extra yardage makes him one of the most unique players in the game.
Despite not being the guy who caught the game-winning TD, Boldin's presence certainly had a direct effect on that play. In a "second guess-able" decision, the Steelers sent Troy Polamalu on a blitz despite having two receivers split to the same side of the field from which he came. This left Bryant McFadden in "rail" coverage on the sideline and only one safety for the middle of the field. Boldin ran a post from the slot, grabbing the safety and allowing T. J. Houshmandzadeh to make a nice out-fake-to-post double move on McFadden and get open for the score. A very common-sense way to defend is to find the most elite player in each game-situation and not let him make the big play. Boldin is definitely good enough to attract that kind of attention and open things up for other options. When healthy, he's still an elite WR --- possibly top 7-10 in the league.
Week 5 vs. DEN
Receiving: 1 / 8 / 0 on 3 targets
Boldin's owners must have wondered if he got injured at some point in this contest. The truth is that Boldin just didn't seem to be a big part of the gameplan early, and then the Ravens abandoned the pass and that left little opportunities for the receivers. Flacco also missed Boldin on an occasion or two, throwing the ball just outside his grasp. Despite his near goose-egg, there is no need to panic, as he had plenty of opportunities in the preceding weeks, and things like this happen when you play for a team with a great running game and defense. I do think that if Ray Rice gets really hot, and the running game really gets going, that the WR targets will drop a bit, and this could have an adverse affect on Boldin's numbers, as it did in this game.
Week 6 vs. NE
Rushing: 1 / -1 / 0
Receiving: 4 / 63 / 1 on 6 targets
The physical Boldin was dominant on the outside once again in this game. His TD was a 25 yard throw where he simply outran the corner and trotted into the end zone for the catch. Boldin was the target of another TD pass that he couldn't quite come up with as he tried to fight his way through two defenders but couldn't haul in the pass through the contact. The play did result in an illegal contact though, giving the Ravens a new set of downs in the red zone.
Week 7 vs. BUF
Receiving: 6 / 92 / 1 on 12 targets
Boldin quickly has become Flacco's go to guy in key situations like red zone and third down, replacing Derrick Mason. His massive frame is tough to defend from the ball even with good coverage, and he can jump and fight for any ball. He ran all kinds of routes and had catches over the middle and on the outside for first downs. He found himself all alone for his touchdown, set up by a well-executed flea flicker and a well thrown Flacco pass. He is a threat on any route, and a tough load if you decide to try and bump him at the line.
Week 9 vs. MIA
Receiving: 2 / 28 / 0 on 7 targets
Was blanketed all day in coverage and held in check. Boldin was targeted on deep passes twice in the 1st half, both were incomplete passes. He was targeted a few more times in the 3rd quarter but did not have his first catch until the 4th quarter but by then the Ravens were well in command of the football game. Credit Miami for covering him but at the expense of allowing the Baltimore RBs to do anything they wanted catching the ball out of the backfield.
Week 10 vs. ATL
Receiving: 5 / 50 / 1 on 7 targets
Anquan Boldin had a solid game against the Falcons on Thursday. He was covered most of the evening by Duante Robinson, which led the Ravens to focus on Derrick Mason and Todd Heap in the passing game over Boldin early on. However, as the game wore on Boldin's effect was felt. Boldin was targeted deep downfield twice but both balls fell incomplete. All of his receptions came on short passes, primarily on crossing routes and hitches. Boldin did have two key blocks in the running game as well, once on Donte Stallworth's end around and once on Ray Rice's screen pass reception that led to the Ravens last score. Boldin also caught the Ravens first touchdown on the day to pull the score to 13-6 at halftime. On the play, Boldin lined up on the right side and drew single coverage. On the snap, he bolted off the line and ran a fade to the middle right portion of the endzone. Quarterback Joe Flacco placed a perfectly thrown pass to Boldin's outside shoulder that he caught easily before falling out of bounds.
Week 11 vs. CAR
Receiving: 3 / 29 / 0 on 4 targets
Although Boldin was only targeted four times on the day (likely a direct effect of the increased role of Houshmandzadeh in the offense on Sunday), there's really nothing to worry about --- even despite his three catches for 29 yards on the day. While Houshmandzadeh is obviously going to see time in the slot, Boldin is a much more key cog in the offense than anyone else and his sub-par Sunday happens even to the best of receivers in the NFL. All in all, there's nothing to be worried about as he'll likely go right back to leading the team in targets next week.
Week 12 vs. TB
Receiving: 3 / 27 / 0 on 4 targets
Boldin was only targeted four times and while he had a quiet day receiving, he did a nice job blocking downfield in running situations. In this game, it just seemed like Flacco had something working with WR Derrick Mason, and Boldin's numbers suffered as a result.
Week 13 vs. PIT
Receiving: 5 / 118 / 1 on 9 targets
Boldin is the only offensive player in this game to have "normal-game" statistics (as opposed to "Steelers-Ravens game statistics"). In fact, this was the first time Boldin had more than 50 yards ina game since way back in Week 7 and was his first touchdown since Week 10. He did most of his damage on the drive which he scored his touchdown as he had the aforementioned 61-yard play on a 3rd-and-15 from Baltimore's own 3-yard line. This play on its own would have been a game-changer because the Ravens were able to avoid punting from their own endzone and were near field goal range on the other side of the field instead. Eight plays later, however, Flacco scrambled to his right and gave Boldin time to free himself of coverage in the endzone for a 14-yard score. Boldin had two Steelers on him but got behind them in the endzone. While they looked forward to the ball, he moved to the middle of the field and caught the TD without a player closer than 5 yards away. It was a big-time performance from Boldin --- especially considering this team's injuries. Even though it ultimately came in a losing effort, it was good for Ravens players and fans to have some confidence in Boldin restored.
Week 14 vs. HOU
Receiving: 3 / 41 / 0 on 8 targets
Anquan Boldin may not have had the statistical production of Derrick Mason on Monday against the Texans, but he played an integral role in the Ravens jumping out to an early lead. All three of Boldin's catches came in tough situations, once when he was double-covered and twice when he had to adjust to a poorly thrown pass. His best catch came on a 2nd and 11 play in the fourth quarter as the Ravens tried to run out the clock. Boldin lined up on the right side and ran a hitch pattern. The ball was thrown to his back shoulder but was high. Boldin came back to the ball, leaped and grabbed it before falling down inbounds just past the first down marker. Boldin is obviously not producing the same eye popping numbers that he did in Arizona with Kurt Warner, but he remains a solid and reliable option at the receiver position.
Week 15 vs. NO
Receiving: 1 / 2 / 0 on 2 targets
Boldin had one catch in the second quarter, but otherwise was forgotten like the other downfield targets in the Ravens passing game.
Week 16 vs. CLE
Receiving: 2 / 15 / 0 on 4 targets
Anquan Boldin continued his run of poor games as he did not get in on the action very much against the Browns unlike his last game against them when he scored three times. Boldin was targeted in the red zone once, but Flacco's pass sailed on him and was not catchable. Flacco tried to get the ball to Boldin deep in single coverage against Joe Haden but the rookie cornerback came up with a great interception to thwart the efforts of Flacco and Boldin. Boldin was targeted in this game, but Flacco opted to pick on the Mason/Sheldon Brown matchup more.
Week 17 vs. CIN
Receiving: 2 / 9 / 0 on 3 targets
Boldin frustrating stretch of absenteeism continues, as he just made no impact on the game, other than a few catches. He did get long downfield once, but Cincy's CB made a great play on the ball and outfought Boldin for it. For Baltimore to keep up with Indy, Pittsburgh and New England in the playoffs, they are going to have to score points. To score points, they are going to need a better effort out of Boldin than they've had in the last few weeks, as he's only had 5 catches for 26 yards over the last THREE games.
Week 18 vs. KC
Receiving: 5 / 64 / 1 on 7 targets
Boldin certainly made a positive impression in his first career postseason game with Baltimore, hauling in five receptions for 64 yards and a crucial touchdown. On the scoring play, Boldin skied high in the middle of the end zone near the back line to make a nice grab with his hands. He managed to come down with the ball and keep his feet inbounds for the score, despite a bevy of Kansas City defenders surrounding him on just about all sides as he went up for the football. He had a long gain of 27, and the attention being paid to him may explain why there were open lanes over the middle for TE Todd Heap and the Baltimore running game.
Week 19 vs. PIT
Receiving: 1 / -2 / 0 on 5 targets
Boldin's acquisition this offseason was one that was thought of as something that would get Baltimore over the top this season. It was a natural thought process --- a playoff team with talent at many positions fills a position that's a glaring weakness. The problem is that there are different types of receivers, and Boldin and Mason are the same type. Their strengths are possession-based. Neither guy can get himself open deep and break a game open in a 50+ yard chunk frequently anymore. Boldin's lasting memory of this game will be that he dropped a touchdown pass with 4:00 to play on 3rd down of a 24-21 game --- forcing the Ravens to settle for a game-tying field goal.