Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are two of the most honest and respected voices in the San Francisco 49ers locker room.
So after the team snapped its four-game losing streak with an inspiring, 25-20 victory on Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens, the two veteran wide receivers were looked at for insight into the team's mentality through six games.
Both players conveyed a confident, yet focused outlook.
"I still don't think we played our best game, but made enough plays to win," Boldin said. "It's one game, but we feel like, as a team, if we come out and play the way we're capable of playing, we'll be OK. Today we were able to finish. Last week, we weren't. So, obviously, we're happy about that. We'll see where this takes us."
Added Smith: "Anything positive we can get, we have to keep it going right now and take it one game at a time. We can't really spend too much time being happy about this. We aren't in any position to even think about doing that with our record. So we're going to continue to work hard and do what we've been doing."
Sunday was certainly a good start for what the team wants to accomplish. The offense racked up nearly 400 yards of offense and the defense forced two turnovers and prevented a late comeback attempt by the Ravens.
For Boldin and Smith in particular, the duo delivered the type of performance many fans had envisioned when they reunited in San Francisco this offseason. Boldin caught five passes for 102 yards and Smith hauled in three receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.
And they did so against their former team, with whom they won a Super Bowl with in 2012.
"I've said all week it really wasn't a big deal," Smith said of facing Baltimore. "I still feel that way even when the game is over with. It was cool to see a lot of people that mean a lot to me, both on and off the field. It was special to see them. It was weird to look across and know that I was competing against them. But I'm all in out West.
"I have a job to do out here, and I'm thankful for the 49ers bringing me in and that I can be a part of it."
Smith recorded the game's biggest highlight. Early in the second quarter, the wideout got behind his man, former 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright, with a double move. Colin Kaepernick faked a handoff to his running back before firing a perfect pass to Smith, who caught the ball in stride and ran the rest of the way for a 76-yard touchdown.
"A play like that helps a lot," Smith said. "It takes a little bit of pressure off in the beginning – getting a quick touchdown. We got Kap's confidence going, the o-line's confidence going and it's a different vibe when you have stuff like that happen early in the game."
Postgame, Boldin told reporters that the 49ers had gameplanned to go deep on the Ravens secondary, which added three new cornerbacks this week due to injuries.
In all, San Francisco tallied three plays of 50 yards or more. Kaepernick threw for 340 yards on just 16 completions, an average of 21.25 yards per.
"That was one of the things that we saw on film," Boldin said. "Their secondary was banged up, so we definitely wanted to take advantage of that. I felt like we were able to do that."
Boldin's best play of the afternoon came in one of the most critical moments. With the 49ers leading by six points midway through the fourth quarter, Kaepernick scrambled out of the pocket and found Boldin deep down the field for a 51-yard gain.
The pass came on 2nd-and-21 and set up an eventual Quinton Patton touchdown, which proved to be the game-winning score.
"Anytime I have an opportunity, I feel like it's my job to make a play," Boldin said. "I'm not just here for nothing. Definitely, in critical times, I feel like the team looks to me as one of the guys that needs to make a play. I've always felt that way."
Boldin was shaken up after the catch, but he said he just got the wind knocked out of him.
One of the players the 49ers repeatedly picked on was Wright, who signed with the Ravens this week after being released by San Francisco. The cornerback lost his footing on the Patton touchdown.
"When you have a guy on your team for that long, you get to see him every day in practice," Boldin said. "You understand his weaknesses as well as his strengths. So that was one of the things that we wanted to attack."
Baltimore made it a nail-bitter at the end, but a Joe Flacco Hail Mary as the clock hit zeroes fell harmlessly in the end zone and San Francisco escaped with its victory.
"You give him any bit of time, and he can put the points up," Smith said. "I'm just glad that we were able to pull it out. Our defense got the job done at the end, and we were able to get a win."