The Baltimore Ravens had spent the majority of the past half-decade watching the playoffs from the sidelines. Prior to just squeaking into the postseason in 2018, the organization was on the outside looking in for four of the previous five season since winning the Super Bowl in 2012.
That included three consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance between the 2015 and 2017 seasons. And the Ravens got out to a 4-5 start in 2018 as well, as rumors began to swirl about the future of Head Coach John Harbaugh. It reached a point at which there was talk of the organization being open to trading him, and some teams may have even followed up with a phone call.
Fast forward 10 games, including their first postseason game since 2014, and you have the Ravens and Harbaugh agreeing to a new contract extension. 2019 was set to be his last before his current contract runs out. The deal is not yet official and there are no details available, including the number of additional years, but it should be announced by the team soon, perhaps today.
The change for the organization occurred when Joe Flacco was injured and they inserted rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson into the starting lineup. Not with his arms, but with the threat of his legs, the Ravens built up a potent rushing offense, gaining well over 200 yards per game on the ground in the seven games he started in the regular season. That combined with a very good defense was enough to carry them while opposing defenses learned how to defend Jackson.
The Heisman Trophy winner may have saved Harbaugh’s job, as the Ravens proceeded to finish the year on a 6-1 run. Even though they would go on to lose to the Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore already announced it planned on opening talks of an extension prior to the team’s regular season game against the Chargers.
Harbaugh has been the Ravens’ head coach since 2008, patrolling the sidelines for 11 seasons. He has posted a record of 104-72 in 176 games, a winning percentage of .591. They have won the AFC North three times in his 11 seasons, 2018 being the most recent, in addition to 2011 and 2012, the latter being when they won the Super Bowl.
Baltimore missed the postseason in three of the four years prior to Harbaugh taking the job, and he proceeding to bring the Ravens into the playoffs in five consecutive years, winning nine total games in that run, of course culminating in the Super Bowl win.
Since then, however, his record is just 50-46 with two playoffs appearances and one playoff victory. Obviously the organization believes that good times are ahead once again, though, and that Harbaugh is capable of seeing them to success once again.