The one memorable play from Sunday’s AFC Championship Game — at least from the viewpoint of the New England Patriots — was the hit by Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard on Patriots running back Stevan Ridley. The helmet-on-helmet hit received applause from Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh, according to The Sports Network.
“That was the turning point of the game,” John Harbaugh said. “That was the turning point of the football game there on the 40-yard-line. It was just a tremendous hit. It was football at its finest. It was Bernard Pollard making a great physical tackle — just as good a tackle as you’re ever going to see in football right there. That just probably turned the game around right there.”
Ridley was knocked out by the hit and then fumbled the ball. He was diagnosed with a concussion. It was the latest in a history of injury-inflicting hits by Pollard on the Patriots, including Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski.
No flag was thrown for a helmet-to-helmet hit because Ridley was not a defenseless receiver as defined by NFL rules.
Also, The Bleacher Report explained in detail the events that led to Ridley suffering a concussion on the play.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor