Within every sport there are those players who always seem to kill one team, known as (Insert team name) killer. It’s an interesting phrase, but an accurate one. Some players just have a knack for delivering the final blow to particular teams.
But nobody has done it like Bernard Pollard has against the New England Patriots.
2008: Bernard Pollard of the Kansas City Chiefs went helmet first into the left knee of Tom Brady. Brady immediately fell to the turf holding his left leg; he had torn his ACL. This was in the first game of the season and Brady never returned, as the Patriots missed the playoffs and watchded the Miami Dolphins win the AFC East.
2010: The Patriots had already clinched a playoff birth, but Bill Belichick is not a proponent of resting his starters before the playoffs. This time it backfired as Pollard of the Houston Texans took down Wes Welker, tearing his left ACL. Welker was ruled out of the playoffs, and in the AFC Wildcard round which was just a week later, the Baltimore Ravens put a pounding on the Welker-less Patriots winning 33-14.
2012: It was the AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. Rob Gronkowski was landed on by Pollard which caused a twist of the left foot. Gronkowski left the game and didn’t return because of a sprained ankle. The Patriots went on to win the game, but Gronkowski was forced to have surgery before the Super Bowl rematch against the New York Giants. Gronkowski valiantly played in the Super Bowl, but was clearly bothered by his ankle and wasn’t effective whatsoever. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl 21-17.
2013: Sunday night during the AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots, with just under 13 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the Ravens ahead 21-13, Brady handed the ball off to Stevan Ridley who was then hit hard in the head by Pollard. Ridley immediately went down and fumbled the football just before his knee touched the ground. Ridley was lying flat on his back right after the hit and had to go into the locker room directly after. The Ravens recovered the fumble, and on the ensuing drive Anquan Boldin caught his second touchdown of the game. The Ravens went on to defeat the Patriots 28-13.
Pollard, like any other professional football defender has made many hits and tackles.
But these four hits were responsible for four significant injuries, and this year led to a game-ending turnover.
Every hit ruining another Patriots’ season.
There’s simply no explanation for this one.