Ravens HC John Harbaugh On Hot Seat

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is under “mounting pressure” to turn his team’s season around, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The Ravens started out the 2018 campaign strong, but since a primetime victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh staked Baltimore to a 3-1 record, Harbaugh’s club has dropped three of its last four to fall to third place in the AFC North. And, while a midseason firing is not expected, an ugly loss against the Steelers today would give team brass a lot to think about in that regard.

Harbaugh has generally achieved excellent results since he was hired in 2008, leading the Ravens to two division titles, three AFC Championship Game appearances (including one win), and a Super Bowl win. But Baltimore has not qualified for the playoffs since 2014 — though the club had several near misses during that time — and while injuries and mediocre rosters certainly played a big part in that, the three-year drought is tough to take in light of Harbaugh’s earlier success.

Indeed, owner Steve Bisciotti said earlier this year that he considered firing Harbaugh at the end of the 2017 season, which culminated in a Week 17 last-minute loss that knocked the Ravens out of a playoff spot. Ultimately, Harbaugh kept his job, the front office finally added a number of legitimate weapons for embattled quarterback Joe Flacco, and the Ravens have thus far managed to avoid the spate of calamitous injuries they have suffered in recent years.

But the team is now 4-4 and is at a crossroads. As Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com points out, if the Ravens win their next two games (home divisional contests against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati), Baltimore will have an 85.6% chance of making the playoffs. If they lose both, the odds drop to 10.4%.

Further complicating matters is the fact that this will be GM Ozzie Newsome‘s last season at the helm, and assistant GM Eric DeCosta, who will take over for Newsome, does not have as strong of an attachment to Harbaugh. Plus, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson is reportedly not progressing as well as the team had hoped, which also reflects poorly on the head coach.

Harbaugh is under contract through 2019, and he has compiled a 105-71 record (including playoffs) as the Ravens’ sideline general. If he does get the ax either during the season or after it, he will surely make the short list for other clubs in search of a new head coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Ravens HC John Harbaugh On Hot Seat

  1. K3vin

    This article should have been written 2 years ago. Should have gotten rid of Harbaugh then, along with Flacco, sho he could make M&T Bank commercials full time and watch the Bachelorette.

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  2. Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

    Baltimore should thank their lucky stars, for this hire. I’m a Cowboy Fan and this guy is Vince Lombardi compared to Jason Garrett. 30 games over .500? Playoffs and Super Bowl? What’s that?

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  3. diller79

    First Harbaugh fired at some point before end up season. Second Urban Meyer retires from Ohio State. Third Harbaugh is the new HC of the Buckeyes. FINALLY best rivalry in sports gets soooooo much better(Michigan vs Ohio State) aka (Harbaugh vs Harbough)

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    • acarneglia

      Michigan and Ohio State is the best rivalry in sports? What about Yankees-Red Sox, Canadiens-Bruins, Dodgers-Giants, Duke-Carolina, Celtics-Lakers?

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      • Kenleyfornia74

        Anyone who thinks a college sport is the best rivalry is on something. Ohio St vs Michigan really. No one outside that area cares lol

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  4. jeb39999

    Flacco is directly related to Ravens mediocrity so I guess not giving up on him sooner would be Harbaugh’s downfall but keeping them competitive despite Flacco should be considered an accomplishment in itself. Firing Harbaugh would be dumb.

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  5. mgrap84

    I thought he should have been fired end of last season. He was a great head coach but it’s time to move on from him and Flacco. Stay next season with a new coach and QB.

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  6. bradthebluefish
    bradthebluefish

    Harbaugh is a terrific coach. Flacco was a star QB in only two scenarios – his 2012 run for the Super Bowl (11 TD and 0 INT to beat out Brady and Manning) and the 2014 season with Gary Kubiak running the offense. Outside of that Flacco has been mediocre at best at running the offense.

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  7. Chris

    I think it would be very short-sighted to fire Harbaugh. He is undoubtedly a good coach. The Ravens roster on the other hand is so mediocre.

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