During John Harbaugh’s four-year tenure as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, he’s been very consistent in certain areas.
Under Harbaugh’s reign, the Ravens have:
* Been a postseason participant every season
* Won at least one playoff game each season
* Dominated at M&T Bank Stadium (32-5 record)
And most compelling for this upcoming week:
* Undefeated following a bye week (4-0 record)
Should the recent on-field efforts of late from Harbaugh’s squad morph into a prolonged trend, their 5-2 record aside, it could potentially jeopardize all four of the impressive aforementioned statistics.
The past four seasons, the Ravens have had an extended vacation when it comes to the bye week because they’ve always played at home the following week –that’s not the case this year.
Next Sunday, a one-win Cleveland Browns team will host the Ravens with a legitimate chance of pulling off an upset.
For the Ravens, the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time as the players, like a Southwest Airlines TV ad, need to get away while the coaching staff needs to dial up some kind of identity for both the offense and defense.
By his own admission, Harbaugh didn’t adequately prepare his team for Houston and consequently, he’ll probably cut his Gettysburg vacation/visit short this week to avoid laying another egg in Cleveland.
As long as the Ravens surrender under 180 yards on the ground, allow under 30 points and give Ray Rice the ball more than nine times, it’ll be looked at as progress.
The Ravens are much better than they’ve showed on the field all October and Harbaugh will do everything in his power to extend his streak to five consecutive wins after a bye week – even if his vacation is cut short.
Take that to the bank.