NEW YORK, New York - Anquan Boldin's championship pedigree might be a sore subject for the 49ers.
After all, it was Boldin's Ravens that beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 47 after finishing the year 10-6. That Baltimore team backed into the playoffs, losing four of its last five regular season games in 2012.
There weren't too many good thoughts heading into the postseason that year. But they still came away champions.
And there weren't too many good thoughts surrounding the 49ers following their 13-10 loss at home to the lowly St. Louis Rams Nov. 2. San Francisco fell to 4-4. In the competitive NFC, the loss made the 49ers long shots to return to the postseason for the fourth straight year.
Then, during the week of practice leading into last week's trip to New Orleans, Boldin tapped his championship experience to change the mindset of the 49ers going forward.
"Anquan Boldin talked about this last week to the team about treating these weeks as one-game seasons. That’s what we have to do," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Every game is a big game. All you have to do is turn on the film and see the way the Giants play football and you know that it’s going to be a big task, a huge test for us."
After hearing those words from a trusted and proven source, San Francisco came out with perhaps its most spirited performance of the season in New Orleans, winning in overtime 27-14 against the Saints, who haven't lost at home since the end of the 2012 season. With the 49ers likely needing to finish their seven game stretch 5-2 (to finish 10-6) at minimum to make the playoffs, the importance of coming away with a win last week cannot be understated.
"Everybody knows where we are, it's not a secret. We're the ones who put ourselves there. If it's going to get done, we're going to have to do it," Boldin said.
"If anything's going to happen, if anything will ever happen, the guys in the locker room have to believe it first. Once those guys believe it it just becomes contagious."
Boldin had a big game Sunday - 6 catches, 95 yards and a touchdown - but also had more drops than other game during his 26-game 49ers career.
Boldin mishandled 4 passes, and made his six catches on 14 targets. Had the Saints come back and won after trailing 21-10, Boldin would have been viewed as a leading culprit.
"People are talking about drops. He still went for almost a hundred yards in the game," quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. "So, he’s a playmaker. That’s why we’re going to get him the ball.”
"(Drops) burn and it's something that you think about but at the same time you can't let that affect the next game or the next play," said Boldin. "That's something you vow not to let happen again, come out, work your butt off and move on."
[Related: Giants run defense has something to prove]
Playing on the road for the fourth time in five games, San Francisco has to find a way to battle complacency Sunday against the 3-6 Giants, who own the league's worst defense.
"It would have been easy for guys to fold the tent," Boldin said. "Everybody said, 'Not this week, it won't happen.' Guys came out and did what we had to do and we came up with a win. I foresee it being that way the rest of the season."
With Patrick Willis leaving a void in team leadership, it looks like Boldin is primed to take over in his place.
"We're not looking for anybody outside to come and help us. We know that we're good enough to make things happen. It would be a great story for us to be 4-4 and then win the Super Bowl. That's how we're looking at it, every week is win or go home."