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Anquan Boldin trade pays off early

9/14/2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There were not many offensive standouts for either team in Monday's 10-9 victory by the Baltimore Ravens over the New York Jets.

But there was one exception: Anquan Boldin.

In a game where yards and points were hard to come by, the Ravens' big offseason acquisition came up huge with seven catches for 110 yards. Boldin's two receptions of 38 and 27 yards during a key third-quarter drive set up a field goal that was the difference in the game. Both were big-time catches where Boldin had to spot the ball in the air and make a play over the defender.

Baltimore wanted to revamp its passing offense and acquired Boldin in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for this year's third- and fourth-round draft picks. The trade paid dividends on Monday.

"Anquan is a big, physical guy who goes after the ball," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "There were multiple situations. They're going to play you one-on-one and you have to go away from the safety and give your guy a chance to go get the ball."

Fellow receivers Derrick Mason (two catches, 21 yards) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (one catch, 27 yards) also contributed, as did tight end Todd Heap (six catches, 72 yards). Baltimore's passing game has plenty of room to grow, but Boldin's playmaking ability on Monday offered a glimpse of the unit's potential.

"We have a group of receivers that are going to be tough to defend," Boldin said. "I don't think there is any team in this league that can match up with our three receivers. We have three No. 1 receivers."