John Harbaugh: “It’s a tough loss”

NFL: JAN 03 Ravens at Bengals
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The Ravens’ season is over after a 17-3 loss in Buffalo on Saturday night, and coach John Harbaugh is lamenting his team not getting further in the postseason.

”It’s a tough loss,” Harbaugh said. ”To get to the AFC Championship Game, you’ve got to play two really great games and things have to bounce your way. That didn’t happen for us today. But I’m proud of the guys, nonetheless. I feel like what we’ve been through as a football team, the road we traveled this year, the challenges that we faced are all well documented. I feel like our guys handled it with toughness and grace. Even today, when we weren’t at our best, we fought. We’ll hold our head high walking out of here and into the offseason.”

It’s the second consecutive season that the Ravens lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. They haven’t advanced past the divisional round since winning the Super Bowl after the 2012 season.

Now the Ravens will head into an offseason with some tough decisions to make about how to build a roster that can get over the hump.

46 responses to “John Harbaugh: “It’s a tough loss”

  1. Fix that patchwork offensive line for starters. They played well given their circumstances, but when Buffalo sent three or four rushers and got constant pressure, it becomes a glaring issue.

  2. Lamar no good when he can’t run. Best to get a new QB who can throw and move Lamar to a slot receiver.

  3. Perhaps some throwing lessons for Jackson, & catching lessons for Dobbins, are on tap for the Ratbirds. Lamar has 46 QBR in 4 playoff gms & 5 INTs during same period. He sure loves to throw ducks into triple coverage.

  4. Unless the Ravens assemble the greatest
    o-line ever or Lamar can CONSISTENTLY beat teams from the pocket and use his feet as ANOTHER weapon and NOT his best weapon. The Ravens will continue to lose in the playoffs and not win a superbowl with him as QB

  5. Not a bills fan but I find myself rooting for them. Josh Allen is proving everyone wrong and showing that there is no substitute for hard work. I hope they win it all

  6. So much for the Ravens being the team “no one wanted to play” in the post-season. Another balloon burst.

  7. Lamar Jackson just can’t get it done in big games, simple. Alot of open receivers last night. You gotta be able to read the field / defense and let the play develop instead of just taking off.

  8. As both a College football FANatic as well as an NFL Fanatic you get all of these people (so many I’ve talked to over the years) who think a running quarterback is cute ,that it’s a coming trend. It works in high school and college but not the NFL. Escapability yes, running quarterback no. The Ravens hit a ceiling they will never get out of with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. To be a championship winning team you must have a quarterback who can be consistent in the pocket-that’s where your championships are won. Lamar Jackson is a college quarterback, I’ve said that from day one. All you NFL fans who don’t follow college football are finding that out.The Ravens have an NFL defense but a high school offense.

  9. DeCosta and Harbaugh face the toughest challenge to get to the next level with this team. To their credit they’ve gone a different route than most and had success, but it looks like they’ve taken this approach as far as it can go.

    Hard to imagine what changes they can make or new offensive pieces they can add that change the equation enough to get them to the SB. Seems clear they need a better passing game and that really means a different philosophy and a different passer.

  10. Everyone knows that you can’t win a superbowl with a rb as your qb. With Ben on the downslide it is the Browns division unless they implode….no dog in this fight.

  11. For some inexplicable reason I always root against this guy. He can’t lose enough in my eyes. Although there was no tantrum last night. Still pretty enjoyable.

  12. You need an O Line that can pass block and a center who can snap. Lamar and the run game hides the O Line deficiencies, but strait pass block they are not good. Congrats to the Bills, great game plan and win.

  13. get yourself a real qb and use lamar like taysom hill, that’s their only chance to win with him on the roster

  14. The Ravens had one of the softest schedules to end the season (Dallas, @Cleveland, Jacksonville, NY Giants and @Cincinnati) and only one of those teams made the playoffs, the Browns. Then when they played a real team in the Bills they got hit in the mouth. I agree the Raven OL needs to be patched up some and I truly think they need an alpha WR not a speedster like Brown leading the WR core. Andrews is a solid T E and Dobbins will be a Pro Bowl caliber RB which in turn should help Jackson improve his passing.

  15. Bills fan here, always think the next game is the toughest, but Baltimore is scary. The Bills dialed up a good game plan to slow Jackson down. If Baltimore had another good WR it’s gonna long way for them. Brown is good and Andrews is solid TE. Bryant and Snead aren’t scaring anyone though. At this point of the season they need more. And their O-line needs some work. I’m not a Jackson fan but with a little money spent this off season the Ravens could be really good again if they don’t rely on Jackson having to get 1,000 yards on the ground

  16. They looked like the Steelers. stopped on fourth down, balls snapped over their head, interceptions that this one went for a TD. They did zero second half. The only difference they are not dragged over the coals today. Maybe their QB needs to retire, he did not do much, his passes seemed to be short many times.

  17. EVERYONE knew you were going to lose after your team treated last week’s win against the Titans like a Super Bowl win. Even Harbaugh said it was his best win. From the top on down, this franchise telegraphed this loss.

  18. I like Lamar, but he seems destined to be this generation’s Michael Vick, able to make spectacular plays but not able to ever raise his passing game to the required level.

  19. John Harbaugh’s stubborn belief that passing isn’t important is problematic. A great running attack is great, but when your team averages less than 200 yards per game in the air–that’s an enormous problem in postseason play.

  20. As soon as Jackson can’t be the fastest player on the field, his career is over. The win last week was because he was able to run for a 60 yard TD, not because of his arm.

    When he can’t do that, the Ravens don’t win. What was funny was Collingsworth commenting that most people don’t understand that he’s really a great pocket QB and not a running QB. When he was waxing poetic about Jackson’s pocket passer bonafides i was scratching my head.

  21. Lamar Jackson needs to be patient finding the open receiver and then accurate with his throws. He is not the same QB against the better playoff teams that take advantage of certain skills Jackson lacks; Accuracy and going through progressions to find the open receiver.

  22. Everyone is fantastic in collingsworths eyes. Stack the box and he cant throw. They were just running regular blitzes. Weren’t even disguising them. Makes other teams respect their own QBs that can identify that and alter a play.

  23. When Lamar does well everyone’s on him but when he fs up you all go right back to criticizing him. He didn’t play bad but the O line was horrible which is missing a few key pieces and Lamar won’t be able to progress until he gets a 50-50 ball No. 1 receiver

  24. Running back qb’s ain’t never won nothing. Just look at all of them except Steve young because he read the defense and only ran when all his reads were covered…vick,newton,jackson,griffin….to win it all you need a passer

  25. Can’t make mistakes and survive playoff games. Ravens made a bunch. Good season and always next year. Congrats to the Bills for ending their long playoff drought.

  26. The offensive play calling by both OCs was awful. The Ravens have a RB averaging 5 yards a carry and he is on the sidelines for half the plays. You have the Bills that all they need to do is run out the clock, and they are throwing the ball, then instead of pooch punting down to the 5 or 10 yard line try a 44 yard FG with howling wins. Luckily the Bills were better than the clown Ravens. Lamar Jackson, if he can’t run, he will never win in the Playoffs and Buffalo’s DC said we will contain him, which they did.

  27. Please stop hyping Lamar. I don’t care how good of a guy he is, or how fun it is to watch him. Analyze him as a QB and it’s clear he will never win a Suoer Bowl nor can he win multiple playoff games. Too easy to stop as he is a running back and he can’t throw. Just like the Wildcat, Harbaugh’s gimmick offense peaked in its first year, went downhill in year 2, and next year it will need to be scrapped. Defenses have adjusted and Lamar simply stinks as a passer.
    Love the continued delusion and all the excuses like O line play, poor WRs, the wind… it’s a waste of time and just leads you deeper into this hole. Unless you think being the #32nd thrower, #20 offense, and a turnover machine in the playoffs with a 1-3 record after 4 years is somehow good?
    Nobody fears the Ravens in the playoffs. Nobody. Harbaugh better not invest tons of money in Lamar or the Ravens will be in serious trouble when their D needs to shed playmakers as a result. The D is the strength of the team and keeps you in games while Lamar then gives these playoff games away.

  28. The Blitz says:
    “Running back qb’s ain’t never won nothing. Just look at all of them except Steve young because he read the defense and only ran when all his reads were covered… vick, newton, jackson, griffin… to win it all you need a passer”

    = = = = = =

    Agree. Steve Young realized he needed to add dimensions to his game and Mike Shanahan at the time force-fed him game film after game film so he could read defense. Young actually has a law degree and he said that period of studying game film was harder than his law degree! But he admitted it was necessary as he always quoted Bill Walsh: “Championship football is orchestration.” What struck me about Lamar in a recent interview he said he never studied other quarterbacks, which tells me he has no desire to be a pocket passer or improve his pocket passing game. And that exposed his ceiling right there.

  29. Even if the Ravens beef up their offensive line and add a top WR, Jackson’s passing won’t improve much. Even when he has adequate protection he is too quick to start looking for a running lane instead of looking downfield. He doesn’t go through any progressions. He has “happy feet” and doesn’t set properly. His mechanics as a passer are poor and because of his elite running ability his coaches have never pushed him hard enough on improving them.

  30. Lamar has proven to be a good regular season Qb but playoff football is different. The refs call PI differently making it more difficult for hismwr’s from getting open and allowing his TE to be mugged forcing the happy feet. Lamar needs to face the truth running is not a long term answer.

  31. I will get interesting when Lamar’s agent asks for a $520 million contract in a couple of months.

  32. I think they should stick with Jackson, he will grow into a pass first QB. A new four year contract should give the Steelers time to rebuild!

  33. Hopefully next year is your last as Ravens coach. Same old thing year after year. Should be doing better with the talent you have.

  34. Jackson’s passing game is based on scrambling all over the place with the hopes of coverage breaking down.

    Works great in the regular season when you play some bad teams, but when the playoffs come around, he’s facing good teams with disciplined defenses.
    The enhanced wildcat offense they run can only take you so far.

  35. The Bills have established the blue print how to slow down Lamar. Keep him in the pocket. Stay in your lanes. Play athletic linebackers near the line of scrimmage. Play zone defense. Make him beat you with his arm.

  36. The Ravens dominated the stats line. But only 3 points? Something is wrong in Dead Bird land. Watch your back, Harbaugh.

  37. Tough loss? Come on John, few saw your team going into Buffalo and beating the Bills even with just a few fans there. Your team isn’t very good.

  38. Let’s give Harbaugh credit for squeezing what he can out of Lamar. It’s been fun to watch, and Lamar is an exciting scrambler and runner. He’s 100% not a pocket passer and I actually think what Harbaugh and Roman have been able to do with a running back playing QB is pretty darn good.
    The problem is now you are stuck. He can’t win you a Super Bowl because he can’t throw reliably or make the right reads. You’ve hit the ceiling. And defenses have adjusted– your offense was #20 in the league this year, after all, putting aside what always happens with Lamar in the playoffs.
    So are you going to pay him $35-40mm a year and wreck your salary cap and team, because you’ll have to get rid of key defensive players, which is really the strength of the team? At the same time, Ravens fans keep making the excuse that Lamar needs an O line and better WRs and TEs. How can you do both?
    This is a big problem. The right call, I think, is the unpopular one: recognize Lamar won’t get you to the promised land, and get what you can for him. If you try to make him a pocket passer you will ruin him just as Kapernick was ruined.

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