-In 2008 Tom Brady was hit in the knee by a defender. He tore some ligaments in his knee and missed the entire rest of the season. The Patriots missed the playoffs.

-In 2009 Wes Welker was trying to make a cut and dodge a defender when he tore his knee in week 17. He went down and The Patriots lost in the wild card round.

-In 2011 Rob Gronkowski was tackled on a routine catch during the AFC championship, but the defender fell on his ankle and Gronk rolled the ankle. He was slowed up, and was slow and ineffective for the Superbowl, and they lost to Eli Manning…again.

-In 2012 in the AFC championship, Stevan Ridely lowers his head on a run and is hit helmet to helmet by a defender. Ridely goes down with a concussion, the Patriots lose the game.

-Also in that game, Aaron Hernandez was tackled one final time by a defender.

In every single instance, the defender was Bernard Pollard. Bernard Pollard has become an infamous name in New England fandom. He’s a mythical figure, a demon, the angel of death. When Bernard Pollard plays the Patriots, a Patriot goes down. He is a curse. He is a boogyman. I love Bernard Pollard, Bernard Pollard owns. The sheer myth that he has become is the best thing in modern football lore. With Pollard on the Titans now, part of me hopes that they will make the playoffs and the Pats will face the Pollard again. One of these days he’s going to hit the head of beast. Belichick’s time is ticking.