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An Inconvenient Truth For Ravens: We'll Never Know How Joe Flacco Would've Played

January 9, 2019
There is a reason they are called quarterback controversies -- because the needle always moves at the speed of the last play conducted in a game. That notion was on full display in the stands during the Ravens' dismal offensive outing against the Los Angeles Chargers Jan. 6 with Lamar Jackson in command. Fans were grumbling among themselves about not if, but when Joe Flacco would enter the game and save the Ravens' season.

But, lo and behold, there was really nary a change in the offing for head coach John Harbaugh. While Harbaugh admitted to a discussion with his coaching staff regarding whether or not to bring Flacco into the game, he opted to stick with a quarterback who, in spite of two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to receiver Michael Crabtree, ended up with a QBR of 9.5.

But the inconvenient truth to all the fans who were shouting or talking about a quarterback switch is that we'll never know how the Ravens' fortunes might have changed if Baltimore's venerable veteran had entered the game on his would-be white horse.

One thing we did find out after the Ravens' 23-17 loss to the Chargers -- one of the worst coaching jobs of Harbaugh's 11-season tenure -- is that all the mystery surrounding Harbaugh's future vanished into thin air.

Harbaugh had danced around discussing his future since the team released that odd statement one night before its game against the Chargers in Los Angeles Dec. 22. But he made it clear Jan. 6 that Jackson was his quarterback moving forward, that Flacco wouldn't be back and that he anticipated coaching in Baltimore "as long as they want me here." Harbaugh and the Ravens are reportedly working toward a contract extension.

What we appear to have now is an owner who seems content with a good streak, a playoff appearance and more of the same. What remains to be seen is exactly how Harbaugh's new contract might include any language that would weaken new general manager Eric DeCosta's control with respect to player personnel decisions.

DeCosta, who waited patiently to take over the reins of leadership in the organization, surely anticipated he'd have the same control that his friend and predecessor, Ozzie Newsome, held with regard to such decisions.

In light of new Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock admitting that head coach Jon Gruden has the final say concerning the team's roster construction, one is left to wonder if that might be what Harbaugh has been angling for during the past two weeks.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox