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Anquan Boldin, Quinton Patton Step up for 49ers

Posted Dec 29, 2013

Boldin finished his first season with the 49ers posting 85 catches for 1,179 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, while Patton made an impact for the first time.

GLENDALE, Ariz. Anquan Boldin and Quinton Patton provided the offensive sparks in San Francisco’s win in the regular season finale.

The veteran got things rolling with a 106-yard first quarter. The rookie closed things out with a 29-yard reception to set up the game-winning field goal.

The 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings by a score of 23-20.

PHOTO GALLERY: 49ers vs. Cardinals

It was also Boldin’s first game in the desert against his former team.

Boldin downplayed the significance of playing the Cardinals.

“It was another team, another stadium, another division game,” said the 11-year veteran who caught nine passes for 149 receiving yards and one touchdown.

This was Boldin's 35th career 100-yard game, the sixth-most among active players.

He finished his first season with the 49ers posting 85 catches for 1,179 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

Patton, on the other hand, came into the game with one reception for and no yards. The fourth-round draft pick battled a foot injury but came back to the lineup as the team’s No. 3 receiver.

Patton’s biggest play of his career took place on Sunday. With the 49ers and Cardinals tied at 20, Patton went up and hauled in a 29-yard pass to help set up Phil Dawson’s 40-yard game-winning kick.

“It feels really good,” said Patton in a quiet voice. “My natural instincts was to go get the ball.”

Patton pulled down the reception and kept both feet inbounds. Soon after, Jim Harbaugh raced down the sideline to call a timeout. By that point, the entire bench was circling Patton to share their appreciation for the rookie’s big-time play.

“We couldn’t be more excited for him,” Harbaugh said of the rookie, who was also San Francisco’s leading rusher with a 26-yard end around against the NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense.

“It was a heck of a play,” Harbaugh added.

Boldin has enjoyed the energy Patton brings to the lineup. The hard-working veteran also stressed that Patton’s big catch is a big-time confidence booster, too.

“It’s huge for his confidence,” Boldin said.

The rookie was targeted on the previous drive on a third-down slant pattern but was unable to make the catch. Soon after, Boldin went over to Patton to give him words of encouragement.

“I told him, ‘Keep your head up,’” Boldin said. “We came back to him and he made a big play.”

Boldin made several key plays in the first half. In fact, the physical wideout touched the ball on San Francisco’s first three offensive snaps. 

Boldin caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick on a third-and-goal play. The veteran later added to his early production with a 63-yard reception. Boldin caught a short pass, broke a tackle and then raced all the way down the field to set up a 3-yard Vernon Davis touchdown catch.

When the first quarter was over, Boldin had his first ever 100-yard first quarter. He caught six passes for 106 yards in the opening 15 minutes, helping the 49ers get out to a 17-0 lead.

Boldin certainly left his stamp on Sunday’s season finale and his first season in San Francisco. The class-act, however, stressed that he knows he’s truly the No. 2 wide receiver on the team.

In Boldin’s eyes, it’s Michael Crabtree’s job to be the top wideout.

“We all know he’s the No. 1 receiver here,” Boldin said. “This is his team. I’m here to help him out.”

Crabtree was matched up mostly with Cardinals Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. Crabtree finished the game with three catches for 29 yards.

With Peterson following Crabtree, the 49ers focused on Boldin’s matchup with Jerraud Powers.

“We liked the matchup we had,” said Kaepernick, who finished the game with 310 passing yards and a 111.2 quarterback rating.

Kaepernick has full confidence in his receiving corps and now has a new weapon to showcase in crunch time, Patton.

“He’s a great player,” Kaepernick said. “He has a bright future.”

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