As Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco accepted the Super Bowl XLVII MVP award at Monday morning's news conference, he was queried on the most important play of Sunday's 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
While Jacoby Jones stole the postgame highlight shows with a pair of long-scoring plays to close out the first half and open the second half, Flacco cited wide receiver Anquan Boldin's critical catch on third-and-inches in the fourth quarter as the biggest play of the game.
Flacco had three options when he approached the line of scrimmage late in the game. With the entire Mercedes-Benz Superdome expecting a run, Flacco audibled out of a Ray Rice dive through the line to a back-shoulder throw for Boldin.
It's fitting that Boldin converted the jump-ball with cornerback Carlos Rogers draped all over him, keeping the drive going while draining the clock and setting up the game-deciding field goal.
Criticized throughout the past two years for losing his ability to separate from defensive backs, Boldin has been the postseason's most physical wide receiver. Reminiscent of former teammate Larry Fitzgerald's run of dominance for the Arizona Cardinals five years ago, Boldin piled up 22 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns in four playoff games as Flacco's go-to target in the red zone as well as on key third downs.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.