John Harbaugh’s Clock Management in Ravens’ Playoff Loss Draws Scrutiny

John Harbaugh’s Clock Management in Ravens’ Playoff Loss Draws Scrutiny

The MVP of Sunday’s NFL playoff tripleheader may have been the concept of time.

Mere hours after the laws of physics flummoxed Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, Ravens coach John Harbaugh fell under a similar spell. Twice with under a minute remaining and the clock running in a game it trailed 24–17, Baltimore huddled. Even more egregiously, the Ravens left two timeouts on the board until there were eight seconds left, when they used one with the clock already stopped before Tyler Huntley’s desperation heave fell to the Cincinnati turf as time expired.

The result: an AFC wild-card loss to the Bengals and a bad beginning to a critical offseason for Baltimore as it seeks to lock up quarterback Lamar Jackson’s services long-term.

Naturally, fans and writers alike wanted answers. Some pronounced Harbaugh fraudulent, as in this comparison to Bishop Sycamore coach Roy Johnson.

Some took a more highbrow approach.

Some took a longer view, drawing a straight line through McDaniel and Harbaugh to Chargers coach Brandon Staley and a poor clock-management epidemic.

Still others suggested poor clock management may run in the family, alluding to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s cavalier approach to the end of the Wolverines’ Fiesta Bowl loss to TCU.

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