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When in doubt, rely on Boldin

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When in doubt, rely on Boldin

When taking a look at the stat sheet, Anquan Boldin doesn't exactly jump out.

He had five catches for 57 yards to lead the a less-than-spectacular Ravens offense in Sunday's 25-15 win at the Cleveland Browns, but what might go overlooked are his contributions off the ball.

Rookie Bernard Pierce got his first TD as a pro, running from 12 yards out to put the Ravens up 14-0 to end the first quarter.

It was Boldin's block on Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown that sealed the edge and allowed Pierce to turn up field.

"He doesn't have a receiver's mentality," Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said. "It's fun watching him play and his aggressive nature, and you kind of feed off of him."

Then there's what Boldin did on the ball.

When the Ravens needed a play to come back from a 15-14 deficit in the fourth quarter -- after going two-plus quarters without a first down -- it was Boldin who hauled in a 21-yard catch to get the Ravens to their own 40.

All of a sudden, the efficient machine that started the game re-appeared.

“When you’re struggling like we were, you always need a play to get going, and that was the play,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It got us the first down and got us going.

"There are a lot of turning points in a season and that was definitely a turning point. There will be a lot more turning points before it’s all over, but that was a big play."

The Ravens were able to go back to Ray Rice who was limited after getting 58 rushing yards in the first quarter. He had three rushes for 22 yards on that drive after Boldin's catch knocked Cleveland off balance.

Quarterback Joe Flacco would hit Smith for a 19-yard touchdown with less than five minutes left in the game that proved to be the game-winner. 

With a new empahsis on speed and the ability to stretch the field because of Smith and Jacoby Jones, and the emergence of tight end Dennis Pitta until recently, Boldin still is Baltimore's most reliable weapon.

He hasn't scored a touchdown since the opener, but Boldin leads the team in catches (36) and yards (510).

"He's the definition of a football player. I love playing with him," Smith said of the 10th-year player. "He's physical. He's a great route runner. He can catch. He's still a dominant player."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens are hopeful Earl Thomas will be a leader for their new defense which Thomas called "very complex." "This defense is very complex compared to what we were doing in Seattle,” Thomas said to Ravens media. “We were just playing Cover-3 all the time. Now, we’re making calls on the fly. That’s the biggest adjustment for me.”

Additionally, Thomas told media members after practice that he's made "fast friends" with quarterback Lamar Jackson. "He's a very funny guy, I don't know if you all know that," Thomas said.

2. Speaking of Lamar Jackson, he reportedly had his best day of practice so far this offseason according to Ravens media. Jackson's throws looked much better and he was quick in the pocket.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

Like most athletes, Robert Griffin III was empathetic towards Kevin Durant when he first went down, taking to Twitter on Monday night to voice his concern. 

Today, the Ravens' veteran quarterback told ESPN's The Undefeated that he's all too familiar with Durant's decision to play and subsequent injury. RG3 likened it to his own brief playoff stint in 2013. Just four weeks removed from an injury to a knee that required reconstructive surgery in college, RG3 started – only to get hit late in the fourth and watch both his season and career come to a screeching halt. 

But that's not how RG3 views it. 

"I was looking at it like I'm out for here for my brothers. I'm out here for my team. And that was the only place I wasnted to be." 

And Griffin doesn't believe he's alone in that thought process, suggesting it was KD's mindset ahead of Game 5 as well.

"Most of us are built to fight. So whenever we get a situation where we’re a little injured or a little banged-up, our first reaction isn’t to get out of there and rest. Our first reaction is to figure out how we can keep going. That’s what makes a guy like Kevin Durant great." 

It remains to be seen whether KD's recovery will be smoother than RG3's. The former Heisman Trophy winner never came close to matching his breakout rookie season, eventually losing his starting job in Washington in 2014.

Durant will miss all of next season, meaning the former Montrose Christian star's next NBA appearance would be as a 32 year-old.