With outside linebacker Terrell Suggs sidelined indefinitely with a torn right Achilles tendon, hard-hitting strong safety Bernard Pollard has emerged as an emotional leader on the Ravens' defense. Pollard is an intimidating hitter who plays the game like he's angry at his opponents. Although he has a rib contusion, Pollard is expected to start the game and should be a pivotal figure against Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski got hurt on a Pollard tackle in the AFC title game last season. Gronkowski already has a dozen catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Last season, Gronkowski caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Ravens will need Pollard to grit his teeth and play through some pain against one of the most dangerous tight ends in the game.
Evan Habeeb, US PRESSWIRE