John Harbaugh is in a weird spot. In a rare moment in NFL history that the Coach of the year got severely out-coached in a playoff game.
John Harbaugh deserved to win the NFL’s Coach of the Year award. He took his team on a 14 win season, that Baltimore had never seen before. He allowed Lamar Jackson to do his thing and his coaching staff worked with it beautifully. While Harbaugh deserves a ton of credit for getting the Ravens the number one seed, he also deserves a heavy dose of the blame for the loss in the postseason.
The playoff game never had to get out of hand. The Ravens trailed 14-6 at halftime. The Ravens acted like they were down 30-10. Harbaugh could have taken a deep breath and gotten things back on track. 28-12 isn’t an acceptable way to be one and done in the playoffs. The Titans looked more prepared and the fact that Harbaugh’s coaching staff came up with what seemed like zero in game adjustments was a really tough look for him.
Harbaugh just saw the best team the Ravens ever had, do poorly when it mattered. This was Harbaugh’s best chance to win a Super Bowl. This time he wasn’t the underdog going into Denver to face Peyton Manning‘s almost unbeatable Broncos. This time he didn’t even have to worry about the New England Patriots and the road to the Super Bowl could have gone through Baltimore. In true Ravens fashion, Harbaugh wins his Super Bowls the hard way.
The turnaround in 2018 started to change the forecast of Harbaugh’s career. The 2019 season safely stored his hot seat far out of sight. The Ravens are absolutely positioned to be contenders again. Life is mostly good, yet the bad taste of losing to the Tennessee Titans is still there.
The question lingering around the Ravens is whether or not they can win in the postseason? It’s a question that will be there until they get back to winning in the playoffs. The 2019 Coach of the Year has a lot to prove in the 2020 season and he can’t do it until he gets the Ravens into the playoffs again.
It’s a little unfair. He has a 10-6 record in the playoffs and he has a Super Bowl ring. The problem is that the last playoff game the Ravens won was in 2014. Two years in a row, fans have put up big money to go to a playoff game, in Baltimore, just to be disappointed. Harbaugh, who has always been one of the most competitive people on the earth, (a true Harbaugh) must have a chip on his shoulder.
Harbaugh just had the best regular season of his career. He got the award that he earned by doing that. Baltimore has it’s eyes on the Lombardi Trophy. It’s an expectation that Harbaugh built by having his Ravens dominate throughout the regular season. Harbaugh has to prove that he can still win in the playoffs. That’s the bottom line.