Back in 2003 Anquan Boldin made his NFL debut for the Arizona Cardinals and set a league record for most receiving yards by a rookie in his first game (217). Since then he has become a highly respected veteran. Boldin has always been known for his ability to come down with difficult receptions in clutch situations, break tackles, and get yards after the catch. He has been a valuable asset to every team he has played for in the NFL. Boldin brings that “savage” mentality to every game with his physical playing style, and possesses a true will to win.
It was a great acquisition for the 49er’s to pick him up this off-season in exchange for their 6th round draft pick in 2014. Boldin has been the main workhorse for Colin Kaepernick this year right alongside Vernon Davis. He finished the regular season with 85 catches, 1,179 receiving yards, and 7 TD’s.
In the 49er’s final game of the season last Sunday, Anquan played against his former team (the Arizona Cardinals) in Arizona for the first time. He had 9 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown. Most of his work came in the first quarter as San Francisco took an early 17-0 lead. (At one point, he had 106 of the 49ers’ 109 receiving yards, and even 11 rushing yards that he acquired on a reverse during the opening drive.) Later in the 4th quarter, Boldin came alive again as he recorded 3 more catches for another 39 yards. 2 of these catches were extremely clutch, coming in the last 2 drives by San Francisco which helped them get into field goal range twice, the second time for the win.
Some may have overlooked how much of an impact he would have in the bay after Crabtree hurt his Achilles. But beginning with week 1, (1 TD, 13 catches for 208 yards) it was easy to see that Boldin was going to play a main role in the 49er’s offense this year. In the last 6 games (All wins) he has really turned it up, with 4 TD’s, 38 catches and 549 yards.
Here’s an interesting stat: In San Francisco’s 4 losses this season, Boldin has 1 TD and has averaged only 3.7 catches and 38.2 yards per game. In the 49er’s 12 wins, he has 6 TDs, and averages 5.8 catches and 85.5 yards per game. The best part of this stat is comparing it to his post-season run with the Ravens last year, when Boldin went for 4 TD’s, 380 yards and had 22 catches. On average, that is 5.5 catches and 95 yards per game. I think it’s clear that San Francisco should keep Boldin highly involved in the offense as the quest for six continues this Sunday.