3. John Harbaugh on the hot seat in Baltimore
John Harbaugh has been the head coach of the Ravens for 10 seasons, and overall, he’s done a pretty good job. His record sits at 104-71, with a 10-5 mark in the playoffs, and Harbaugh’s Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII back in 2012.
But they last made the playoffs in 2014, losing in the divisional round to the New England Patriots after twice building 14-point leads and blowing them both times. After three years of finishing outside the playoff picture, Harbaugh is going to have to figure something out to fix that trend in 2018. It doesn’t matter how successful you’ve been in the past; if you stop producing the goods, you won’t be around much longer. Whether or not Baltimore makes it to the playoffs this season could have a big impact on Harbaugh’s future with the team.
The Ravens have made moves, acquiring some new toys for quarterback Joe Flacco, such as receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown, and drafting tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews. Baltimore’s struggles in recent seasons have largely been a result of a weakened passing game, so these were important moves to make.
With a little more depth on the offensive side of the ball, it will be up to Harbaugh to coach them into a winning football team. If he can’t do it, then Ravens ownership might have to start thinking about how much longer they want to keep him around – especially since Harbaugh’s contract is up after next season, and general manager Ozzie Newsome, one his biggest supporters, is stepping down at the end of this season.
Plain and simple, for Harbaugh’s job to be considered safe, his Ravens probably need to make the playoffs in 2018.