Ravens Receivers Quietly Ready to Soar

With the remarkable success that Atlanta had moving the ball through the air in last week’s NFC Championship Game, one would expect Baltimore’s pass catchers to be licking their chops in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVII.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons lit up the San Francisco secondary for 396 yards – 271 by halftime – and three touchdowns. Ryan’s quarterback rating was a whopping 114.8.

The 49ers have given up 644 passing yards in two postseason games, allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 69.1 percent of their passes.

What’s more, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown for 853 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. His 114.7 passer rating is the highest of any quarterback this postseason. Oh, and receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith rank first and fourth, respectively, in postseason receiving yards.

Feast time? Maybe, but if Boldin, Smith and company are salivating, they aren’t letting on.

“They have a great defense,” suggested Boldin, the unit’s elder statesman. “They have two great safeties on the back end and some good corners as well. They’re not here for no reason at all. We don’t expect anything different on Sunday.”

“They’re a great defense,” echoed Smith. “We have to make plays regardless of who’s over there as a defensive back, we’ve got to make some plays.”

Tight ends have had success against San Francisco this postseason as well, something that Baltimore’s Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta have noticed. But even they won’t take the bait, and risk providing bulletin board fodder for the NFC champs.

“Every game is different,” Dickson said. “We saw the success that Atlanta had but we’re not going to be naïve and think that they’re not going to make corrections. So in the end it’s all about us – run the ball, pass the ball and become a balanced offense.”

“They’re a good defense and it’s going to be a challenge,” chimed in Pitta. “But I think for us to be successful, we’re going to have to throw the football.”

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