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The case for John Harbaugh to win Coach Of The Year

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John Harbaugh's Ravens overcame a lot of adversity to make it to where they are right now, and that's worthy of winning the award.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the Ravens beat the Miami Dolphins in Week 14, I began to wonder if John Harbaugh had a case to win the NFL's Coach of the Year award. I dismissed those thoughts, because at the time, Bruce Arians had the award looking all but sealed. But Arians' team is going to watch the remainder of the playoffs at home after Ryan Lindley put up the worst QB performance in the history of the NFL postseason and Harbaugh's team is still alive.

John Harbaugh has gotten the Ravens through an incredibly tough season. First, the Ravens released Ray Rice after a TMZ video comes out showing him hitting his wife in the elevator, just a day after they start the season off with a loss to the Bengals. Things did not look good for the Ravens and many predicted that they would lose to Pittsburgh at their own home that Thursday night. They didn't. They stayed together, stayed focused and won the game.

The very next week, an Outside The Lines report is released mentioning how the Ravens upper brass and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell mishandled the Rice situation and once again there's talk of it being a potential distraction. The Ravens remained focused and beat the Browns on Sunday, even if it was closer than folks would've liked it to be.

The Ravens would allow only three passing touchdowns in the month of September despite the fact that they had to start Chykie Brown and Darian Stewart because Lardarius Webb and Will Hill were injured and suspended, respectively.

Injuries were also going on around this time. In Week 3, Dennis Pitta suffered a season ending hip injury without getting touched. Eugene Monroe would also suffer an injury that would require him to miss the next four games. Timmy Jernigan would also miss the next four games with an injury. In Week 5, Asa Jackson suffered an injury that forced him to miss the next 11 weeks and Kelechi Osemele would suffer an injury that would force him to miss the next two weeks.

Despite all those injuries the Ravens would be 5-2 midway through October and would be in the top 10 offensively and defensively.

Then Jimmy Smith went down in Week 8 with a foot injury that turned out to be season ending. The Ravens would lose that game and would suffer a defensive debacle against the Steelers, allowing six passing touchdowns, almost as many as they had allowed in the weeks up to that game.

The Ravens would win their next game against the Titans, even though it was a sloppy one, but were underdogs heading into New Orleans, where the Saints had never lost in prime-time since 2009.

The Ravens would defeat the Saints as Justin Forsett ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns and the defense had a pick-six and harassed Drew Brees for most of the night.

Unfortunately, the Ravens would blow a late lead against the Chargers to lose 34-33 and to make matters worse, Haloti Ngata would miss the rest of the regular season with an Adderall suspension.

The Ravens wouldn't miss a beat, however, as the defense did not allow a single 100-yard rusher during that span as Jernigan filled in admirably for Ngata.

The Ravens would go on to win against the Dolphins, at the cost of yet another corner, as Danny Gorrer went on IR.

An unimpressive victory against the Jaguars would have Terrence Brooks, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Jackson join Gorrer on IR.

The Ravens lost to the Texans in an offensive disaster that took away their control of the postseason, as well as right tackle Rick Wagner.

The Ravens would make it into the postseason, though, after a comeback win against the Browns and a loss by the Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Then came Pittsburgh, where the Steelers were favored to win by many, as the Ravens were missing Pitta, Wagner, Monroe, Jernigan, and six defensive backs. The Ravens went into Pittsburgh and beat them for the first time in franchise history.

The Ravens overcame a lot of adversity to make it to where they are right now, and Harbaugh should get some national recognition for that.