The season was a roller coaster ride and some of the bends, turns and sheer drop-offs made many of the Ravens’ faithful consider that they may not have the stomach for this 2013. Can we blame them?
The Ravens were coming off a season of greatness and a half-decade of success. The final nail in the coffin came against a hot Cincinnati Bengals team that went 8-0 at home in the Queen City this season.
I suppose that an 8-8 record is not nearly as bad as it could have been. Prior to the bye week (when they rested with a 3-3 record) I was not sure if the Ravens would win more than 5 or 6 games. They could not get over the hump on the road and they just failed to finish close games as evidenced by:
• 2-6 road record
• 4 of 8 losses by 3 points or less
There are many contributing factors to the road and the inability to win close games, but ultimately it comes down to coaching. Too often the Ravens looked lethargic, unprepared and disinterested. For whatever reason, John Harbaugh seemed to have an extremely difficult time this season getting the Ravens to go 100% every play for the entire game. The lack of depth and experience at key positions compounded the coaching deficiency.
John Harbaugh, Grade: C. A “C” grade is pretty average, like Harbaugh’s season. Give him credit though – the Ravens did lose a lot of starters on both sides of the ball and this team was extremely inexperienced and young at many positions. Furthermore, the loss of Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones and Kelechi Osemele cannot be understated on the offensive side of the ball. In 2014, I’d like to see Harbaugh utilize time outs a bit more effective and I really hope that he stresses the importance of discipline because many times throughout the season, the Ravens were their own worst enemies with penalties.