During the San Francisco 49ers’ victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the social media networks were blowing up with tweets, posts and comments about wide receiver Anquan Boldin. In case you missed it, Boldin ended the game with eight receptions for 136 yards, including a huge 45-yard reception on the team’s first drive of the second half.
This playoff victory could not have happened without a very efficient game out of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He did not throw an interception. He was only sacked once — against one of the league’s top defensive fronts. He got rid of the ball when he needed to. Kaepernick played a very, very solid game. But, in order for him to do that, he needed that so-called “swagger” we have seen him slowly get back over the past two months.
Kaepernick obtained that “swagger” amidst the 49ers’ 6-game winning streak to end the season. Just like the 49ers couldn’t have won Sunday’s playoff game without Kaepernick and that attitude he’s found once again, Kaepernick couldn’t have gotten back to this point without a key veteran along the way — it’s Boldin. During those six games, Boldin totaled 549 yards receiving and four touchdowns — a 91.5 yards/game average.
It’s no wonder Kaepernick’s confidence has grown tremendously over the second half of the season, in comparison to how he began the year. Boldin’s presence throughout the year has been invaluable at times. But, specifically over the last six games of the season, Boldin gave Kaepernick the confidence he needed to get back to the way he played a year ago.
Boldin gives Kaepernick the ultimate security blanket. Kaepernick knows that if he needs a guy to make a catch, at any given moment, he can throw it into that security blanket without hesitation. It cannot be overstated; Kaepernick’s “swagger” has returned in large part due to his number one wideout stepping up in a big way, and if I was the Seattle Seahawks, I’d start game-planning around Sunday’s MVP. Next week will be a quite the battle, but for Seattle to have a chance at getting to the big stage, they’ll need to work on containing number 81 first and foremost.