Unless you’re secretly positioning yourself for the top pick in the upcoming draft, losing is rarely a good thing in the NFL.
Losses are part of playing the game. Following a loss though, John Harbaugh and his coaching staff are usually able to put together a game plan to win the next week.
The Ravens currently lead the NFL with 15 consecutive wins after losing the previous week; under Harbaugh the team’s 18-4 record (.818 winning percentage) after losses is good enough for third-best in the NFL since his tenure began.
Earlier this afternoon, I asked Harbaugh if there is anything he and his staff do differently to prepare for upcoming games following a loss compared to when they win.
“Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t [do anything differently],” Harbaugh said. I think we pay attention after every game and we really try to go to work and adhere to the process and work as hard as we can to build on the good things and correct every negative thing.”
Win or lose, coaches immediately begin to break down film from their previous week to correct their own mistakes before preparing for their upcoming opponent.
“Anything we found from the game last week, whether it be strategic or whether it be execution wise, we try to really address it before and as we move on, we try to improve.”
Realistically or not, Baltimore fans expect their team to win on a weekly basis. If the team doesn’t, most of the heat is directed towards Harbaugh and his coaching staff, adding pressure to their already difficult task of game planning for the upcoming week.
“Maybe there’s naturally a little edge when you don’t win, for all of us,” Harbaugh said. “That’s one of the benefits of not coming out with a win, so you try to find a way to get better.”
It’s unrealistic to think that the Ravens are immune from adding two consecutive games into the loss column, especially given their difficult remaining schedule and current injuries to many of their defensive superstars.
Regardless if fans disagree with the way the game is managed from the Ravens coaching staff, it’s hard to ignore Harbaugh’s 71-consecutive game streak without having his team possess a losing record.
In 2008, the Ravens started out 2-3 in Harbaugh’s first five games but haven’t looked back since.