John Harbaugh has guided the Baltimore Ravens to fifteen postseason contests during his nine year tenure as head coach. The club has won ten and lost five of these playoff games, for a .667 winning percentage. Harbaugh’s postseason success rate is tied with Hall of Fame coaches George Halas and Chuck Noll, and within striking distance of Joe Gibbs, Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick. Impressive.
The five best playoff wins of the John Harbaugh era:
- Wildcard Round, January 10th, 2010
The Ravens dominated the Patriots in Foxboro, putting the NFL on notice that Harbaugh’s teams can maul any team, any where, under any conditions.
Ray Rice opened the scoring with an 83-yard rushing touchdown on the first possession of the game. Terrell Suggs forced and recovered a Tom Brady fumble. Two more short rushing scores and a field goal staked Baltimore to a 24-0 first quarter lead. The defense harassed Brady into a 49-percent completion rate, with three sacks and three interceptions, including a 25-yard interception return from Ed Reed and a 67-yarder from Dawan Landry. Final score: Ravens 33, Patriots 14
- Wildcard Round, January 3rd, 2015
After suffering brutal losses to Pittsburgh in the 2008 conference championship game and the 2010 divisional round, the Ravens slayed their final demon by handing the archival Steelers a demoralizing postseason loss.
Bernard Pierce gave Baltimore an early lead and the teams traded field goals in the first half. The Ravens defense roughed up Ben Roethlisberger with five sacks, including two from Elvis Dumervil and one each from Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams and Courtney Upshaw. Joe Flacco found Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard score and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Crockett Gillmore to give the Ravens a 30-15 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Justin Tucker nailed a pair of deep field goals and a rattled Roethlisberger tossed a interception to Darian Stewart to seal it. Final score: Ravens 30, Steelers 17
- Conference Championship, January 20th, 2013
The Ravens earned their revenge against the Patriots in an AFCCG rematch following the Lee Evans/Billy Cundiff debacle the previous season.
New England was favored by more than a touchdown and expected to end Ray Lewis career in Foxboro. They took a 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime before January Joe and the Ravens defense took control in the second half. Flacco connected with Dennis Pitta for a short score in the third quarter and then tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin in the fourth quarter. Baltimore’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half. Bernard Pollard caused a crucial fumble with a crushing tackle and Brady threw interceptions on each of the Patriots final two drives. Final score: Ravens 28, Patriots 13
- Divisional Round, January 12th, 2013
Traveling to frigid Denver as a nine-point underdog to face Peyton Manning, a quarterback the team had never beaten, the Ravens provided an epic overtime thriller.
It was a back and forth first half, as Corey Graham returned an interception for a touchdown and Joe Flacco hit Torrey Smith deep for a pair of long touchdowns, leading to a 21-21 halftime score. When all hope seemed lost with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Flacco lobbed up a 70-yard miracle touchdown to Jacoby Jones. Graham intercepted Manning again in the first overtime period and rookie Justin Tucker put a clutch field goal through the uprights for the win in the second overtime. Final score: Ravens 38, Broncos 35
- Super Bowl XLVII, February 3rd, 2013
Ray Lewis and Ed Reed received the ultimate sendoff by winning the Lombardi trophy in their final game wearing a Ravens uniform.
The 49ers were coached by John Harbaugh’s brother Jim and were favored by 4.5 points. Flacco opened the scoring with a 13-yard strike to Boldin and padded the lead through another pass to Pitta in the second quarter. Ed Reed intercepted Colin Kaepernick. Then Jacoby Jones took over with a 56-yard catch and run touchdown before halftime and a 108-yard kickoff return to begin the second half. The Ravens had all the momentum and a 22 point lead until an electrical malfunction caused a long delay in the third quarter. San Francisco stormed back to cut the lead to two halfway through the fourth quarter. However, Justin Tucker connected with another field goal and Jimmy Smith locked down Michael Crabtree on consecutive goal line attempts. The sweet taste of victory permeated the field as purple confetti fell from the sky in New Orleans. Final score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31