The San Francisco 49ers won a dog fight over the Carolina Panthers to advance to the NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks. The X factor from Sunday’s win against the Carolina Panthers was none other than Anquan Boldin. This was a very physical game that featured a lot of chirping right from the start. That kind of game is exactly what Boldin thrives on.
The extra talk fuels Boldin. He is a very fiery, emotional player that doesn’t mind engaging in trash talk after the play. It is business as usual to Boldin. He made this clear when he spoke at his post game press conference.
Both teams wanting to win, both playing their heart out. We knew it would be a tough environment. Knew it would be a hard fought game. It feels like you are playing football. Guys getting hit, bodies flying around. We don’t back down from any teams. Guys played smart, we played right to the edge. From the first play we saw it. Play tough, play physical but be smart. Don’t cost your team at the end of the day.”
The will to fight back and be the aggressor started with Boldin. It is his trademark. He is known throughout the league for his physical style of play. He plays hard not only when he is running with the ball. Boldin also blocks well for the running backs and other receivers. His toughness is infectious and his team loves it. He has a way of getting into the defensive back’s head and taking him off his game. Boldin draws pass interference penalties by getting the defenders to be too emotional.
Boldin lit it up statistically. He was targeted twelve times and caught eight of Kaepernick’s passes. He averaged 17 yards per catch and had a total of 136 yards receiving. One of those catches was a 45 yard double move on the right sideline. He beat Captain Munnerlyn on that play. Munnerlyn was one of the more talkative Panthers but he didn’t have much to say after that play.
Micahel Crabtree had a very good game against the Green Bay Packers last week. He seemed to draw most of the attention from the Panther secondary. Boldin felt that this was one of the things that helped him have the big game that he had.
“They were trying to double Crab, we have weapons all around. You try to take one guy out, others will still have two, three guys left that can make some plays. You don’t want to hurt your team. Be smart, play hard, play physical. When the ball comes my way, I just try to make a play.”
Boldin’s longest catch set up the Vernon Davis touchdown right before the second half was over. It proved to be a very big score as it allowed the 49ers to go into halftime with a lead. This season has been a big time come back season for Boldin. He has enjoyed one of the more productive seasons in his career.