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Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh should have won NFL Coach of the Year

The Ravens head coach deserved the honor this season

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The best coach for the 2023 NFL season didn’t win Coach of the Year. Instead, the award was given to a highly deserving nominee, Cleveland Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, but it didn’t go to the best one. That coach being Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. Ridiculously, Harbaugh placed fifth in the AP voting.

The Ravens went 13-4. earning them the NFL’s best win/loss record. They were the No. 1 team by Total DVOA and finished top five in offensive DVOA (4), defensive DVOA (1) and special teams DVOA (3). Harbaugh hired both coordinators, both of whom earned nominations for Assistant Coach of the Year. His quarterback, Lamar Jackson, is expected to win his second league MVP.

This happened not in spite of Harbaugh, as some detractors would have you believe, but because of Harbaugh. He hired the coaches. He put them in these situations to win and they did.

The Ravens dominated against the best competition in the NFL, trouncing the Detroit Lions. Those same Lions who narrowly lost in the NFC Championship. The ones the Lions lost to, the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens stomped them on the West Coast for Christmas, 33-19.

In Weeks 11 & 12, they surged to the No. 1 seed with 14- and 10-point wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers, respectively, before hitting their bye week.

After their much-needed rest, they rattled off four straight wins against fierce competition, including the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, 49ers and the Miami Dolphins, who were vying for the No. 1 seed against Baltimore before being dismantled 56-19. A game so perfect by Baltimore that Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken left his coaches box to celebrate with his team on the sideline in the fourth quarter.

What the Ravens accomplished in the regular season will be hard to replicate by any team. They were dominant in so many facets, which likely makes their absence in the NFL’s final game this season on Sunday all the more painstaking. But, that production by the Ravens was spearheaded from the top down. It was made by the moves of General Manager Eric DeCosta in conjunction with the coaching and schemes by Harbaugh and his staff and translated into what was done each gameday. And while it’s great to have others rally their franchise to firsts and from comebacks from ugly seasons a year prior, the best head coach in the NFL this season was Harbaugh.