After a disappointing loss to the Steelers at home, the Ravens season in jeopardy. Is it time for them to move on from long time head coach John Harbaugh?
The Baltimore Ravens season is going off the rails after what seemed to be a promising 4-2 start. They needed a win this week against their bitter rivals in the Pittsburgh Steelers to stop the bleeding and stay in the division race, but they couldn’t deliver, instead posting another weak offensive performance and a third straight defeat to drop to 4-5.
With the Ravens under .500 at the mid-way point for the fourth consecutive season and as they head into their bye-week, could we have seen head coach John Harbaugh coach his final game with the team? Reports suggest he’s on the hot seat, and the Ravens fan base is calling for his head.
“I’ve never been somebody that ever worried about keeping a job,” Harbaugh said postgame, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “It’s always been, for me, dealing with a job. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years. No regrets.”
When asked if he sees any coaching staff changes happening during the bye week, Harbaugh instead blamed the loss on the injuries, despite saying before the game that the team was healthy enough to win.
Harbaugh is only signed through 2019, ,making his contract easy enough to terminate.
Harbaugh has been the coach of the Baltimore Ravens since the 2008 season. The Ravens made the playoffs in his first five years of coaching with a 98-70 record in that span, including a 10-5 postseason record. Harbaugh even led the Ravens to their second Super Bowl title in franchise history in 2011-12 with a win over the San Francisco 49ers, coached by brother Jim Harbaugh.
Since the Super Bowl win in 2012, the Ravens have been the very definition of mediocre. Baltimore has gone 44-45 with only two seasons over .500, 2014 and 2017. Additionally, the Ravens have made a single playoff appearance over that stretch, losing in the divisional round to the New England Patriots in 2014-15.
Now with the Ravens underperforming once again and looking well on their way to another bust of a season, will the Ravens let Harbaugh go right now? Or has everything he’s done for the organization over the last 11 years give him one last chance to right the ship and turn this season around? I believe it’s the latter.
As much as it seems like change is needed in Baltimore, Harbaugh has been there long enough to earn a shot at turning it around, but he is on the thinnest of ice. The Ravens schedule lightens up a little bit down the home stretch of the season and while hope looks bleak right now, playoff hopes are not technically dashed yet. If Harbaugh cannot deliver and the team continues to fall off a cliff, then it will be time to move on.
If the Ravens do miss the playoff again, Harbaugh in all likelihood will not be the only causality. It might be time to clean house in Baltimore and start over. New coaching staff, starting Lamar Jackson, and overhauling the receiving core would just be the start, especially if the Ravens want to win a Super Bowl anytime soon.