Last year, quarterback Joe Flacco agreed to a contract extension with the Ravens that will keep him under team control through the 2021 season. Last month, his coach, John Harbaugh, whose deal was set to expire after 2018, signed a one-year extension.
The stability is significant, of course. Any Cleveland Browns fan could tell you that carousels of quarterbacks and coaches are no fun at all. But the historical scope of Flacco and Harbaugh’s tenure gets more impressive with each passing year.
Harbaugh was hired as head coach Jan. 19, 2008. Flacco was his first draft pick, taken No. 18 overall on April 26, 2008. After Kyle Boller suffered an injury and Troy Smith contracted a rare illness in the preseason, Flacco started every game his rookie year for the first-year coach. The 2019 season, the last on Harbaugh’s revised contract, would be their 12th together — and the Ravens’ 24th overall. Rarely does a partnership endure for half a franchise’s history, even a young one.
Their success has helped. Harbaugh is the only coach to win a postseason game in his first five NFL seasons, and Flacco is the only quarterback outside Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl since 2003. Overall, Flacco is 83-55 in his nine seasons with Harbaugh in Baltimore, not including their 10 postseason wins.
So as Flacco looks to shake off the rust after a nagging back injury and Harbaugh tries to point the team to its first playoff appearance since 2014, it’s worth remembering where they’ve come from ahead of their 10th season with the Ravens.
Ravens record: 11-5, second in the AFC North
Playoffs: As No. 6 seed, defeated the Miami Dolphins, 27-9, in the wild-card round; defeated the Tennessee Titans, 13-10, in the divisional round; and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-14, in the AFC championship game.
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 257 of 428 (60 percent completion rate), 2,971 yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Flacco highlight: He became the first rookie quarterback to win two playoff games, both on the road.
Harbaugh highlight: After the Ravens lost to the Titans, 13-10, early in the regular season, Harbaugh helped orchestrate the playoff upset. The Ravens defense forced the No. 1 seed into three turnovers, and kicker Matt Stover converted a 43-yard field-goal attempt with less than a minute left.
Ravens record: 9-7, second in the AFC North
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 315 of 499 (63.1 percent), 3,613 yards, 21 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Flacco highlight: He set a career high with four touchdown passes in a Week 15 win against the Chicago Bears, which helped the Ravens solidify their hold on the final wild-card berth.
Harbaugh highlight: The coach led the franchise to its first victory against the Patriots — a 33-14 road win in the wild-card round — after running back Ray Rice started the game with an 83-yard touchdown run and the defense had three interceptions against quarterback Tom Brady.
Ravens record: 12-4, second in the AFC North
Playoffs: As No. 5 seed, defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7, in the wild-card round and lost to the Steelers, 31-24, in the divisional round.
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 306 of 489 (62.6 percent), 3,622 yards, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
Flacco highlight: He became the first quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons.
Harbaugh highlight: He earned his first win as Ravens coach at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, a 17-14 victory, after Flacco hit wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a touchdown with less than a minute left.
Ravens record: 12-4, first in the AFC North
Playoffs: As No. 2 seed, defeated the Houston Texans, 20-13, in the divisional round and lost to the Patriots, 23-20, in the AFC championship game.
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 312 of 542 (57.6 percent), 3,610 yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Flacco highlight: In the playoff loss to the Patriots, Flacco completed 22 of 36 passes for 306 yards, two touchdowns and one interception — better production than Brady.
Harbaugh highlight: He led the Ravens to the division title and a first-round playoff bye for the first time in his tenure.
Ravens record: 10-6, first in the AFC North
Playoffs: As No. 4 seed, defeated the Colts, 24-9, in the wild-card round; the Denver Broncos in overtime, 38-35, in the divisional round; the Patriots, 28-13, in the AFC championship game; and the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII.
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 317 of 531 (59.7 percent), 3,817 yards, 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions
Flacco highlight: The Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player had one of the best postseason performances by a quarterback in NFL history. In four wins, Flacco went 73-for-126 for 1,140 yards, 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Harbaugh highlight: After upset wins against the Broncos and Patriots, Harbaugh led the Ravens to victory against his brother and 49ers head coach, Jim, for the NFL title.
Ravens record: 8-8, third in the AFC North
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 362 of 614 (59.0 percent), 3,912 yards, 19 touchdowns, 22 interceptions
Flacco highlight: Before the season, he became what was then the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history after signing a six-year, $120.6 million contract.
Harbaugh highlight: He kept the team on track for a 22-20 win against the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium in late November, one of four straight for the Ravens after a 4-6 start to the season.
Ravens record: 10-6, third in the AFC North
Playoffs: As No. 6 seed, defeated the Steelers, 30-17, in the wild-card round and lost to the Patriots, 35-31, in the divisional round.
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 344 of 554 (62.1 percent), 3,986 yards, 27 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Flacco highlight: He completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the playoff win at Pittsburgh, the Ravens’ first.
Harbaugh highlight: Before the season, he hired Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator; the unit set a franchise record with 409 points, and Flacco had a career high in touchdown passes and yards.
Ravens record: 5-11, third in the AFC North
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Flacco stats: 10 starts, 266 of 413 (64.4 percent), 2,791 yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Flacco highlight: Before tearing his ACL and missing the last six games of the season, he threw for at least 300 yards in five of his 10 appearances.
Harbaugh highlight: Despite the first losing record of his head coaching career, Harbaugh helped the Ravens sweep the Steelers.
Ravens record: 8-8, second in the AFC North
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Flacco stats: 16 starts, 436 of 672 (64.9 percent), 4,317 yards, 20 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
Flacco highlight: He set career highs in attempts, completions, completion percentage and yards — but he also finished with his second-most interceptions.
Harbaugh highlight: After a four-game losing streak in October, Harbaugh helped the Ravens rally to win five of their next seven games, though a Christmas Day loss to the Steelers ended their playoff hopes.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jonas Shaffer contributed to this article.