MIAMI -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been named the Associated Press Coach of the Year. Harbaugh received 27.5 votes, far ahead of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was in second place with 14.5 votes. Other coaches to receive votes were Matt LaFleur of the Packers, Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, Sean McDermott of the Bills, and Sean Payton of the Saints.
Harbaugh led the Ravens to a 14-2 record, the best in the NFL during the regular season. Baltimore started the season blazing hot, hanging 59 points on the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. After back-to-back losses dropped their record to 2-2 after four games, the Ravens did not lose for the rest of the regular season.
The Ravens dominated the league with a combination of inventive schemes and ultra-aggressive decision-making, with Harbaugh building both of those pillars around the skill set of Lamar Jackson.
Baltimore set the all-time single-season record for rushing yards, with Jackson having the best rushing season for a quarterback in NFL history and Mark Ingram making good on the free-agent contract the Ravens handed him during the offseason. The Ravens' passing game was also elite, with Jackson repeatedly finding targets like Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown for long gains and touchdowns. Harbaugh's decision to let go of former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and elevate Greg Roman in his place played a major role in the team's reorientation of its offense around Jackson's skill set.
After a rough start to the year, the Baltimore defense rebounded to become one of the best in the NFL. The Ravens lost several talented players in free agency last offseason, but their signing of Earl Thomas and eventual trade for Marcus Peters elevated their secondary to the point where it was one of the best in the league.
The Ravens ended up losing to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs, but they look ready to remain a force for years to come with Jackson and Harbaugh leading the way.