Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh is serving notice that he’s throwing all his eggs in the Super Bowl basket on Joe Flacco. In the first half, it’s been the Flacco show for the Baltimore offense.
Harbaugh has heard it all about the Ravens thriving on their defense. He’s going to give the San Francisco 49ers offense all it can handle with a strong defense that already forced the 49ers to kick a field goal when they had a first and goal and has recovered a fumble.
But as he’s done throughout the playoffs, Harbaugh is putting the pressure of the game squarely on Flacco’s shoulders. The opening drive for the Ravens showed how Flacco can beat the other team with a 6-play 51 yard drive. John Harbaugh realizes that if he has a short field, Flacco can mix it up with his deceptive passing and occasional handoffs to Ray Rice, who so far is off to a very slow start.
Harbaugh, as always, is getting the entire offense involved. He knows that two more touchdowns and 21 points is probably enough for his defense. The fact that Flacco isn’t throwing interceptions is critical.
The 75-yard drive in the second quarter also shows how much Harbaugh can trust Flacco.
Although overshadowed by his brother Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh continues to show his excellent coaching credentials. He learned under one of the best, Andy Reid at the Philadelphia Eagles. He is the first of Reid’s assistants to coach an NFL team into the Super Bowl. He’s hoping to have better success than Reid experienced in his bid to coach a world champion.
So far, John Harbaugh has the game going the way he wants to, especially if he keeps investing everything on Joe Placco. The fake field goal attempt late in the half didn’t work, but it shows that Harbaugh isn’t conservative and is willing to gamble to win.