The Ravens have followed their 2-0 start with two bad losses to the Jaguars and division rival Pittsburgh. In those two losses Baltimore has been outscored by their opponents 70-16. There is plenty of blame to go around in Baltimore, but a lot of it has been directed at head coach John Harbaugh. Is it possible that the Super Bowl-winning head coach is on the hot seat?
Harbaugh to blame?
The Ravens made the playoffs Harbaugh’s first five years at the helm, but since then have made the postseason just once in the last four seasons. Since their last appearance in 2014, the Ravens have gone 15-21 in regular season games, and, more importantly, are 4-10 against teams that made the playoffs. There’s no doubt Baltimore has taken a step back, but is Harbaugh to blame?
The Ravens have suffered major losses from their playoff years, and it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. The team lost the heart of their defense Ed Reed and Ray Lewis to old age, starting running back Ray Rice was lost to suspension then release after his domestic violence case, wideouts Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith Sr. eventually aged out of their primes as well. Baltimore never effectively replaced Rice and Boldin in particular, and their lack of incoming talent has contributed their slow decline.
The other biggest contributor to the Ravens’ disappearance has been their quarterback. Baltimore put their faith in Flacco after his Super Bowl run, and he has let them down. Flacco is set to make over $22 million this year, making him the seventh highest paid player in the league. And what have the Ravens got for their investment? 150 passing yards per game and four touchdowns to six interceptions.
|List of quarterbacks being paid less than Joe Flacco|
|NFL quarterback||2017-2018 Salary|
Joe Flacco has not played at an acceptable level since he received his new deal. In the last two seasons, Flacco has finished 19th and 25th in QBR, far from the elite level they pay him at. Part of the reason the Ravens can’t bring in more talent is because they have all this money locked up in Flacco. Other great quarterbacks have the ability to make others around them better, and Flacco’s clear inability to do so has left the team and its offense in a tough position. I think Baltimore is more inclined to part ways with their quarterback than they are with their head coach.
Someone is going to go
The Ravens’ 2-2 record is worse than it looks. Wins against Cincinnati and Cleveland are hardly anything to boast about, and their play suggests they will sink instead of swim as the season continues.
In the end, I think either Flacco or Harbaugh will be gone at the end of the year, and possibly both. If it were me, Flacco would be the guy sent packing and I’d hold onto Harbaugh, but it’s not my call.
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