So Anquan Boldin hasn’t been the 80-catch, 1,000-yard receiver he was with the Cardinals since coming to Baltimore.
He hasn’t needed to be. Plentiful offensive weapons make him one part, not the central one.
What Boldin has done is create a different legacy with the team as the greatest receiver in Ravens postseason history.
During the current playoff run, Boldin has 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns over three games, setting Baltimore single-season postseason records in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches despite being held catchless in the first half of two of the three contests.
Since joining the Ravens in 2010, Boldin has the NFL’s most playoff receiving yards (512) for a club career postseason record. He also ties former Terps and current 49ers tight end Vernon Davis for the league’s most receiving touchdowns (five) during that time.
A big part of reaching those marks came in the wild card win over the Colts, when Boldin set a Ravens single-game playoff record with 145 receiving yards, all in the second half. It was the most receiving yards after halftime in a postseason contest since Jerry Rice’s 157 in Super Bowl XXIII on Jan. 22, 1989.
So Boldin has played a major role in getting the Ravens back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the end of the 2000 season, and getting himself back there for the second time. His first trip came in 2008 with Arizona.
“It’s definitely a blessing for me,” Boldin said. “You look at guys who go their whole career and never make it to the Super Bowl. For me, I’ve got another shot. And I’m looking to finish it off this time. I went to the Super Bowl five years ago and lost and that’s not the way I want this one to end. So I’m definitely grateful to be back there.”
Boldin wanted to come to Baltimore because he believed the franchise gave him a chance to win when it matters most, and he has made sure that’s come to fruition over the last three years.
This season has been the most rewarding with the Ravens being one of two teams remaining. Many doubted they could get that far when they lost three in a row in December. But not Boldin.
“I told everybody, ‘Don’t panic. We’re going to right the ship. We’re going to win the division. We’re going to make it to the playoffs and we’re going to be a team to reckon with,’ ” he said Sunday after the AFC championship. “This team is a team of faith, we believed all year no matter what the circumstances were.
“We’ve been through a lot as a team. We’ve had injuries after injuries, we’ve had one of our brothers lose a loved one. We’ve lost an offensive coordinator. You name it, we’ve been through it. But this team has never wavered. No matter what the situation was, we always believed. And I think (Sunday), you saw that. We got down early but this team didn’t blink. We knew that this was our game and we were going to win.”