But if his presence helped Boldin, then Crabtree had a huge game. In their earlier meeting, the Seahawks held Boldin to one catch for seven yards, then crowed about it afterward.
"They got nothing done. What were their numbers? What did Anquan do tonight?" said Seattle coach Pete Carroll in Sept.
Sunday, Boldin led all receivers with six catches for 93 yards. He also had the 49ers' two longest receptions — 27 and 20 yards — both of which came with one-on-one coverage from Sherman. And that was due, at least partly, to the fact the Seahawks couldn't dedicate their coverage to Boldin, as they did in Week 2.
"There (have) been times throughout the year where Anquan's gotten doubled and Vernon's (Davis) gotten doubled on the same play," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Michael's presence out there — and everything he's done and everything he's shown he can do since coming back — that's another guy, high-level guy, that's got to be accounted for."
Harbaugh said he knew Crabtree was feeling like himself a week ago against the Rams when he heard the wide receiver — as wide receivers tend to do — squawking on the sideline about insufficient passes being thrown in his direction.
"I turned around at one point, and he's like, 'What do I have to do to get the ball?'" Harbaugh said with a smile. Harbaugh's reaction to the complaint: "All right, Crab's back."
Last year, Crabtree became the first 49ers receiver since Terrell Owens (in 2003) to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. He finished the regular season with 1,105 yards.Boldin is on pace to finish with 1,126 yards this season. He also surpassed 11,000 yards for his career Sunday.
And for the second consecutive game, Boldin's fiery play seemed to fuel the 49ers' offense.Asked about the physical play with Sherman and others, Boldin said: "That's the way that I play. If guys want to pretend to be tough, then I look forward to it. Talking — that's just what they do, you know what I'm saying? So I let my play speak for itself."