BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20:  Bernard Pollard #31 of the Baltimore Ravens defends against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 31-24. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Larry French/Getty Pictures

It is uncommon {that a} participant can change the course of a crew’s season and franchise historical past with out really being on the crew itself.  An instance of that is Lawrence Taylor’s devastating hit on Joe Theismann years in the past, successful that modified Theismann and the Redskins.

So what are the possibilities of a participant doing that not as soon as, not twice, however thrice towards a single crew? Regardless of the lengthy odds, Bernard Pollard has develop into enemy primary for the New England Patriots. 

It is well-known that Kansas Metropolis Chief Bernard Pollard ruined the 2008 Patriots’ season, the yr they had been coming off of an almost flawless 18-1 marketing campaign, by tearing Tom Brady’s ACL (will be seen right here). That yr the Patriots had been as at all times one of many league’s prime contenders, and Pollard took them out of the working earlier than the top of their first quarter.

That is simply certainly one of Pollard’s coincidental roles with Patriot accidents. In 2009 the Patriots had been 10-6 and the AFC East champions, giving them the No. 3 seed throughout the playoffs. In Week 17 the Patriots went to Houston to play the Texans, the place historical past now reveals Wes Welker blew out his knee attempting to keep away from a defender. Who was the defender he was attempting to keep away from? None aside from Bernard Pollard.

The Patriots went on to lose their first playoff sport to the Baltimore Ravens 33-14. The Patriots had been clearly hampered by the absence of Welker, as Brady had certainly one of his worst postseason video games that day, throwing three interceptions.

Mockingly, Pollard spent the 2011 season on the Baltimore Ravens, who as soon as once more confronted the Patriots within the playoffs. Jokes had been made round the media regarding Pollard going towards his Boston foes once more and whether or not one other harm was on its approach. Sadly for Patriots followers, this grew to become a actuality as Pollard laid successful on New England star tight finish Rob Gronkowski that led to a excessive ankle sprain.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after losing to the New York Giants by a score of 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Rob Car

Rob Carr/Getty Pictures

Within the Patriots’ loss to the Giants in Tremendous Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski’s ankle was a serious concern. He wasn’t explosive and even obtained out-leaped for an interception by Chase Blackburn. Gronkowski’s harm was a cause the Patriots’ season ended disappointingly with out a championship.

It’s not a stretch to say that Bernard Pollard has presumably price New England a number of championships. In 2008 the Patriots had been nonetheless able to the offensive firepower that they had throughout their near-perfect season. 2009 admittedly was not nearly as good, however the Patriots nonetheless may have made a run within the playoffs with Welker. Lastly, this previous Tremendous Bowl may have been gained if Tom Brady had his finest offensive weapon.

Pollard, like Lawrence Taylor talked about earlier than, has caused adjustments within the NFL as a complete. Taylor made the blind facet deal with a extra checked out place, most famous within the film and e book The Blind Aspect. Bernard Pollard was the power behind the “Brady rule”, the place a defensive participant can’t lunge at a quarterback type the bottom like Pollard did towards Brady in 2008.

Whereas not an enormous star, Professional Bowler, or Tremendous Bowl champion, Pollard has had an enormous impact on the NFL and playoffs not too long ago. His hits on Gronkowski and Brady could possibly be checked out as hits that price the Patriots titles, and helped cripple (pun meant) their dynasty. For followers who do not just like the Patriots, he’s cherished. For Patriots followers, he is notorious.

Word: None of this text is to remove from the New York Giants Tremendous Bowl title. They performed a unbelievable sport and had an unimaginable season. Congratulations to them and all their followers.

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