Kruger cashes in, literally
With 2.5 sacks and his motor in full gear, Paul Kruger made himself even more money for 2013 and beyond with his performance on Sunday afternoon. That gives him 11.5 sacks overall in the regular season and playoffs, plus he caused a fumble and nearly picked off a pass that he batted down near the line scrimmage.
This was the Paul Kruger the Ravens wanted to see when they let Jarret Johnson leave for San Diego last off-season.
He’s become a legitimate quarterback chaser now, a decent enough tackler to play the run, and when a ball winds up on the ground, chances are good he either caused it or he’s falling on it.
Kruger took advantage of two key injuries to the Colts offensive line on Sunday and had his way throughout the game. With Terrell Suggs bothered by a sore achilles and rendered mostly ineffective all day, it was up to Kruger to put the heat on Andrew Luck — and he did it in a big way. Indianapolis tried double-teaming him at one point, and No. 99 was still able to fight off a pair of them and slap the ball out of the QB’s hands in the first half.
He’s been the Ravens best defensive player over the last month of the season and into the playoffs. That’s the way you want to enter free agency, I suppose.
Is that a Brinks Truck I see in Kruger’s future?
Boldin the Beast
He’s not the team’s most mercurial player. That honor goes to Ed Reed. But Boldin is definitely a close second. His on-again, off-again personality matches his occasionally inconsistent (see what I did there?) half-to-half performances, one that he duplicated on Sunday against the Colts.
How’s this for inconsistent?
Zero catches for zero yards in the first half. Five catches for 145 yards in the second half.
And of those five grabs were all either spectacular, better than spectacular, or “holy s**t that was spectacular!”.
When he has the bit between his teeth, Boldin is a world beater of a receiver. He has terrific hands and can catch the ball in traffic as well as anyone in the league. His speed has declined over the years to the point that he can’t get much separation anymore, but when he generates even a sliver of daylight, he can grab any ball thrown his way.
His second half performance on Sunday vs. the Colts should go down as one of the best thirty minutes of football any Ravens offensive player has produced…ever.
How’s that for a summary that didn’t include any mention of Ray Lewis?
Those four players – Andrew Luck, Bryant McKinnie, Paul Kruger and Anquan Boldin turned out to be the story-writers for a 24-9 Ravens win in their playoff opener.
It’s on to Denver now, where the Ravens will have the chance to avenge an embarrassing home defeat to the Broncos back on December 16.
And if they can do the deed in Denver, Ray Lewis will be one win away from a return to the Super Bowl in this, his “final ride”.