Ravens

Harbaugh: Beating Titans is 'the No. 1 best win' he's had

Ravens

John Harbaugh has been to AFC championship games and won a Super Bowl in 2012, but the Ravens' win over the Titans in the Wild Card round Sunday already holds a very special place in his heart. 

The Baltimore head coach who hates comparisons explained how after further thought he might change his mind, but right now the win over Tennessee is his best yet. 

"Right now, I'll tell you right now it's the No. 1 best win," Harbaugh told reporters after the game. "With perspective, it's gonna be a top-five for sure but right now this is the best win ever. And not just because of what was at stake but because of the guys and what it meant to our team. This may be the best win I've ever been associated with."

The stakes were particularly high for the Ravens entering Sunday's matchup with Derrick Henry's Titans. Baltimore had yet to win a playoff game with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and were going up against the team that knocked them out a year earlier. If they came up small in this game, they'd have a hard time ever living it down. 

However, the opposite took place. Jackson was excellent after a slow start, capping off his performance with an incredible 48-yard touchdown run.

"It's one of the best runs I've ever seen," Harbaugh said. It's the best run I've ever seen by a quarterback. I think it's even greater than the Cincinnati run he had."

 

The defense, after giving up 195 rushing yards to Henry last year, held him to just 40 yards on 18 carries. By forcing Ryan Tannehill to beat them with his arm without the benefit of play-action, the Ravens were able to hold the Titans to just 209 total yards. 

"The defensive effort, it was disciplined, it was eyes on your leverage, it was finishing, it was running to the ball, it was tackling," Harbaugh said. "Up front, our defensive line did a phenomenal job against their very good offensive line, we got [Henry] stopped a lot of times before he got started. All those things came into play."

Now that the Ravens have exorcised their demons and secured their first playoff win since 2014, they can look ahead to the Chiefs or Bills in the divisional round. If the Steelers beat the Browns, they'll play the defending champion Chiefs. If the Browns win, Baltimore will visit Josh Allen and the Bills. 

"It has so much meaning for our guys and for us together," Harbaugh said. "The things that we've been through together this year and how our guys have responded, how our leaders have lead and how our guys have stuck together. All the things that really matter, all the things that to me aren't counted in the scoreboard but are counted in life and that you remember for the rest of your life, those are the things that give it meaning."