Boldin catches fire in second half

Boldin catches fire in second half
January 6, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Big 2nd half propels Ravens past Colts

Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin had a hunch he was in for a big game Sunday against the Colts.

It sure didn’t look that way in the first half, when Boldin was held without a catch. In the second half, though, Boldin erupted, enjoying a record-setting performance to help carry the Ravens to their 24-9 win in the first round of the playoffs.

Boldin finished with five catches for 145 yards and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the game’s final score. His effort broke the Ravens single-game playoff record of 108 receiving yards, set by Todd Heap two years ago at Kansas City.

Boldin said he told quarterback Joe Flacco before the game “I felt like 200 yards today. I don’t know if he thought I was joking, but he gave me a shot in the second half.”

On the third play of the second half,  with the Ravens facing third-and-19 from their 9-yard line, Boldin fought off a crowd that included Torrey Smith and two defenders to grab a 50-yard reception.

“I don’t know who it was intended for, but I wasn’t going to let it bypass me,” Boldin said. “You know it was a scramble play the way I just saw Joe throw his hand up. I really didn’t see Torrey until the end. I put my head down and started running, and went back up to locate the ball, and just saw the ball there. I made a play on it.”

Later in the quarter, Boldin hauled in a 46-yard catch down the right sideline, looking back over his head a la Willie Mays. That one set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta.

“I think in the second half, we definitely had a little emphasis on stretching the field a little bit, and that started with Anquan Boldin, obviously,” Flacco said, adding that, “we realized that we’ve got to take  a couple of shots down the field and see if they work on them.”

Boldin, like virtually every other Ravens player, said he drew on the emotion of Ray Lewis’ last home game.

“I’m sure everyone was affected by it,” Boldin said. “We all wanted to play well for him and make sure it wasn’t his last game.”