This time, Anquan Boldin is a champion
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NEW ORLEANS -- Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin told his teammates all week how important it was to close the deal in Super Bowl XLVII, that anything short of a victory would mean a lifetime of wondering what if.
On Sunday night, Boldin led by example and helped erase some of the painful memories from his last time in the big dance. Boldin, who lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII when he was with the Cardinals, was on the other end of the Ravens' 34-31 win over the 49ers.
"There is no greater feeling," Boldin said. "This means the world to us. This is what we talk about all year, and this is what we play for: to win a championship."
Boldin did his part. He finished with a team-high six catches for 104 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown that gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead.
One of Boldin's catches came on a critical third-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter. Rather than take the conservative approach and run the ball from the Ravens' 45, Joe Flacco dropped back to pass and found Boldin near the right sideline for a 15-yard gain.
The catch kept the drive alive at an important juncture. The 49ers had closed to within 31-29 on their previous drive, and Baltimore needed at least a field goal to force the 49ers to go for a touchdown on their ensuing drive.
Boldin's catch got the Ravens to the 49ers' 40, and they moved to the 20 before Justin Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to make it 34-29 with 4:19 to play. Boldin said he wasn't surprised by the call.
"Not at all," he said. "It was something that we worked on all the time. I told Joe to give me a chance and he gave it to me."
Boldin scored the game's first touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Super Bowl MVP Flacco with 10:36 left in the first quarter. He ran a route over the middle and found a hole in the coverage before making the catch.
"It was just something we saw on film," he said. "It was something we felt that we could exploit, and we took advantage of it."
Boldin came up with a terrific game in the game of his life.
"We just felt like the opportunity was there, and all we had to do was go out there and take advantage of it," he said. "We liked our matchups outside. We were able to get it down."