After Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to an AFC North title, they have now agreed to extend head coach John Harbaugh.
If it hadn’t been for Lamar Jackson, would the Baltimore Ravens be searching for a new head coach right now?
Midway through the 2018 NFL season, when the Ravens were struggling to stay above water with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco leading the way, it seemed like Harbaugh’s days in Baltimore were numbered. After nine games, they were just 4-5, and it looked like a fresh start was needed not just at the quarterback position, but at the head coach position as well.
Who could’ve thought that just a few short months later, Harbaugh and the Ravens would be agreeing to a contract extension? No details have been released yet, but according to NFL.com, that’s exactly what has happened.
Everything changed for Baltimore when a hip injury shelved Flacco coming out of the bye week. Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, whom the Ravens had selected with the final pick of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft, stepped in and redirected the course of history.
With Jackson under center, the Ravens ramped up their running attack to finish the season 6-1. They went from averaging 92.6 rushing yards with Flacco to averaging 229.6 yards with Jackson. With their revitalized offense and a solid defense, the Ravens came all the way back to steal the AFC North title right out from under the feet of the Pittsburgh Steelers, securing a home playoff game for the first time in six years.
Though Jackson certainly looked like a rookie in that playoff game, a 23-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Ravens established a new foundation at the quarterback position that should set them up for success for many years to come.
And, judging by this shiny new contract extension, Harbaugh is the guy they want coaching Jackson as he tries to get Baltimore back to the Super Bowl — something that probably wouldn’t be the case had Jackson not ended the season with such an incredible run.
It’s safe to say that the 22-year-old rookie saved Harbaugh’s job.