Baltimore Ravens report card: Grading John Harbaugh’s 2018 season

John Harbaugh, Ravens. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
John Harbaugh, Ravens. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

John Harbaugh led the Baltimore Ravens to a division title. What grade should we give the coach of the purple and black?

The Baltimore Ravens went 10-6 and won the AFC North, which bodes well for John Harbaugh’s season grade. This season was a roller coaster ride of emotions that ultimately ended in a heartbreaking playoff loss at M&T Bank Stadium. Harbaugh did a lot right in this season. In fact he has a strong argument for being coach of the year.

It wasn’t all good though. The Ravens had some awful losses this season. The offense didn’t seem to show up to Cleveland. They looked unprepared for their week two battle with the Cincinnati Bengals and later in the year against the Carolina Panthers. Harbaugh deserves credit for turning the 4-5 record around. However he got he Ravens to the point where a historic run was needed just to make the postseason.

It’s time to give Harbaugh a grade. Doing so requires balancing the good with the bad and seeing the entire picture. Let’s break it down.

B. Harbaugh can’t receive a bad grade. He took a rookie quarterback, who was far from polished at this level and won six out of eight games. Harbaugh oversaw a complete change in offensive philosophy and crafted a formula for winning with Jackson as the quarterback. He threw a wrinkle into the game that the NFL wasn’t ready for. Harbaugh was right to give the defensive coordinator job to Don Martindale. The Ravens had the best defense in the NFL this season, while they ended up with a top 10 offense. Lamar Jackson had his fair share of struggles but Harbaugh never showed any doubt in the rookie quarterback. He allowed Jackson to do what worked for him. Harbaugh’s 6-1 stretch to end the regular season is incredible coaching. Harbaugh did all this on the hot seat. His team missed the playoffs from 2015-2017.<p>What brings Harbaugh’s score down a bit is the 4-5 start and the awful playoff loss in Baltimore. The Chargers may be the most complete team in the AFC, however Harbaugh got out-coached horribly in the game. The Ravens had every answer defensively, but when the offense doesn’t show up for a playoff game you’re going to lose. We can criticize Mornhinweg for his inability to adapt. We can also call out Harbaugh for letting something that clearly was going south, keep happening. Whether or not he should have put in Flacco or not, he signed up for a loss when he let Mornhinweg continue with his awful game plan. Whether or not he was playing for the win or the future (after he found out his job was safe) Harbaugh is very accountable for the playoff loss.</p>. Head Coach . Ravens. JOHN HARBAUGH

Next. 2018 Baltimore Ravens: The good, the bad and the ugly. dark

The 6-1 stretch is A+ work by Harbaugh. The playoff game dropped his grade to a flat B. There is no getting around how ugly that day was in Baltimore against the Chargers. It leaves a stain on an otherwise incredible job of coaching. Harbaugh is left with the final grade of a B.