When you look at the Baltimore Ravens thrilling 30-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals, it's tough to single out one guy who deserves to be honored with the Samsung 'Game Ball of the Week.' Unlike the previous week in their 12-7 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars, where no one truly deserved the honor, there are a couple of players from this week's game that could easily be handed the credit and game ball.
QB Joe Flacco threw for 336 yards and led the team to 27 second half points, including a perfect 36 yard pass down the right sideline to rookie WR Torrey Smith to put the team in position for the game-winning field goal with just seconds left in the game. However, Flacco had a poor first half with a QB Rating of 45 and despite stepping it up big time in the second half, that first thirty minutes of play takes him out of the running.
Running back Ray Rice scored a career-high three touchdowns, all in the second half of the game, on short runs deep inside the Cardinals Red Zone. At the same time, Rice finished the game with only 63 yards and a 3.5 yard per carry average, certainly not game ball-worthy numbers even with the three goal line TD carries.
The guy who stood out the most in this game is the one who had the most invested in it, and that is WR Anquan Boldin.
Boldin hauled in seven passes on the day for a whopping 145 yards, an average of over 20 yards a reception. His afternoon included a 37 yard catch to go along with a few other 20+ yard receptions, proving he didn't gain all his yardage on one or two catches, but was consistent from start to finish.
Boldin constantly extended drives not only with the completions from Flacco, but on pass interference penalties against the frustrated and over-matched Cardinals secondary. Three times Arizona was flagged for pass interference and all three times the Ravens scored immediately afterwards. Twice it happened on third down plays that if n0t called, would have most likely left the Ravens with no other choice but to kick field goals, which might have left the Ravens on the short end of the final score.
Anquan's ability to draw coverage and still come down with the reception is a tribute to his skill and determination to get the ball and hold onto it. With over 500 receiving yards in the team's first seven games, he is on pace to crack the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time with Baltimore, and what would be the sixth time in his nine year NFL career.
For his clutch performance against his former team, Anquan Boldin is the recipient of this week's Samsung 'Game Ball of the Week.'