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.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.