Just over a year ago, amid a potential fourth consecutive postseason-less campaign and calls for his head, John Harbaugh took a swing and switched out his signal-caller.
The Baltimore Ravens coach hit a home run, leading the franchise to a 20-3 regular-season record and two straight AFC North titles with Lamar Jackson under center.
On Saturday afternoon, Harbaugh was rewarded for his career renaissance with the ultimate individual honor in his field, earning the 2019 NFL Coach of the Year award during NFL Honors in Miami, Florida.
This is the first time Harbaugh has taken home the honor and the first time a Ravens coach was won Coach of the Year. Harbaugh garnered 27.5 votes, ahead of second-place Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers with 14.5 votes. Packers coach Matt LaFleur (three votes), Steelers coach Mike Tomlin (two), Bills coach Sean McDermott (two) and Saints coach Sean Payton (one) rounded out the vote-getters.
Harbaugh, 57, led the Ravens to a league-best and franchise-record 14-2 record in 2019, embarking on 12 consecutive wins after Baltimore got off to a 2-2 start.
Baltimore ranked first in points scored (33.2), second in yards gained (407.6), third in points allowed (17.6) and fourth in yards allowed (300.6).
But the 2019 Ravens will be remembered best for how successfully they ran the ball, facilitated by Harbaugh's trust in the second-year Jackson and his hiring of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The Ravens became the first team in the Super Bowl era to average at least 200 passing yards per game (201.6) and 200 rushing YPG (206.0) and set the record for most rushing yards in a season (3,296).
Ruthless in their efficiency, the Ravens won five games by at least 21 points, starting with their season-opening 59-10 romp over the Miami Dolphins. Baltimore barely let up from there, but really came into its own during a dominant four-week stretch coming out of the bye. From Weeks 9 through 12, Baltimore outscored its opponents, two of which were playoff teams (Patriots, Texans) and one of which were the reigning NFC champs (Rams), 172-46. In Week 13, Harbaugh's squad beat this year's NFC champs, the 49ers, 20-17.
The Ravens' revolutionary run through the league ended prematurely, however, as Baltimore fell at home in the postseason for the second consecutive season.
Regardless of how the campaign concluded, Harbaugh and the Ravens have quite a bright future ahead of them, and their accomplishments in 2019 cannot be disregarded and will not be forgotten.