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Crabtree-Boldin Combo Key to 49ers Passing Game

Posted Dec 23, 2013

Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin provided the big-play ability San Francisco needed in its 34-24 win over the Falcons on "Monday Night Football."

To hear the 49ers players tell it, the disparity between the offense’s production in the first half (69 passing yards) and in the third quarter alone (111) can be explained easily.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick: “We came out… we executed.”

Wideout Anquan Boldin: “We just started to make plays, plain and simple.”

Fellow pass-catcher Michael Crabtree: “When we needed to make a play coming out of halftime, that’s what we did.”

The trio’s performance on “Monday Night Football” helped the 49ers close out Candlestick Park with a postseason-clinching 34-24 win over the visiting Atlanta Falcons. San Francisco also ran its win streak to five games, showing a a resurgent offense that portends good things for the playoffs.

49ERS 34 - FALCONS 24:  Full Highlights | Game Photos

Kaepernick was at the center of it. He was 13-of-21 passing for 197 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown toss to Boldin on the first drive after intermission.

After registering just three points on five first downs before going into the locker room, Kaepernick connected with Crabtree on plays of 47 yards and 19 yards before the scoring pass to Boldin.

Of the 47-yard, up-for-grabs toss to Crabtree that got it going, the receiver said, “It was a good job by ‘Kap’ for trusting me, throwing the ball up and letting me make the play.”

In just his fourth game back since rehabbing his torn Achilles, Crabtree finished with a team-high 102 yards five receptions.

A 22-yard Crabtree haul-in set up a 30-yard Phil Dawson field goal later in the quarter.

Like Crabtree, Boldin was targeted seven times. His 22-yard, over-the-shoulder grab in the first quarter pushed him past the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the sixth time in his career.

San Francisco, which was led in receiving by Crabtree in 2012 (1,105 yards), has now had a 1,000-yard wideout in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001.

Some of the credit, according to Boldin, goes to Kaepernick, who rushed for 51 yards on six carries, including a fourth-quarter, four-yard touchdown run.

“He kept the chains moving, whether it be with his legs or his arms,” said Boldin, who finished with a team-high six catches for 72 yards. “Crab had a couple of big ones. He gave me a chance on a couple.”

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