Bernard Pollard  managed to add to his already-lengthy history with the Patriots in his Ravens’ 28-13 AFC championship win over the Patriots on Sunday night in Foxboro.
Pollard was first introduced into Patriots lore when his tackle of Tom Brady  in the 2008 season-opener ended the quarterback’s season due to a torn knee ligament.
Then, in ‘10, the safety was credited with the tackle when Wes Welker  tore up his knee in the final game of that season.
This time, Pollard left his mark via a fourth-quarter hit of Pats running back Stevan Ridley with 12:55 in the game and hosts trailing by eight. The head-to-head tackle forced a game-changing fumble, while driving Ridley from the game with a head injury.
‘It’s just a coincidence, I guess,’ said Pollard when asked how he keeps finding himself involved in these Patriots’ injuries.
Talking about the specific hit to Ridley, which ultimately resulted in another Baltimore touchdown four plays later, Pollard said, ‘He got loose and for me as a safety, and for us as safeties, our job is to take down a guy. If you get to our level we have to hit you and I got a chance to kind of unload. In the moment we’re competitive, but right now we have to hope he’s OK.’
The Ridley fumble would be reviewed, but referee Bill Leavy upheld the decision, handing the Ravens the ball at New England’s 39 yard-line.
‘What I saw was the receiver was going to the ground, had both legs off the ground, no body part was on the ground,’ said Leavy in a pool report. ‘The ball hit his knee and dislodged from his hand before the rest of his body hit the ground, therefore it was a fumble and we confirmed it.’
‘This is what it’s about, playing football, going out there hitting hard,’ Pollard added. ‘We know what we signed up for. Anybody can drop on any play. It’s just about going and executing. When it’s all said and done, we want those guys to be OK and I hope [Ridley] is good.’
While Pollard was fairly diplomatic when it came to discussing the latest of his controversial plays against the Patriots, he was a bit more pointed when asked about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s slide at the end of the second quarter.
Brady finished off a three-yard run by sliding down the Baltimore 7 yard-line in front of Baltimore safety Ed Reed . At the conclusion of the play, the QB lifted his leg, allowing for Brady’s foot to hit Reed in the upper-leg.
‘You have to keep them legs down,’ Pollard said. ‘We all know and understand what’s going on. As a quarterback when you go to slide we’re taught we can’t do anything. We kind of run it off. But when you come sliding, with your leg up in the air trying to kick somebody, that’s bullcrap. We talked to the ref. They saw it. You can’t deny it.’