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This stat shows John Harbaugh is one of NFL's best modern coaches originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Most NFL experts and fans recognize that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is one of the best in the game. Not only is he one of the few active coaches to have won a Super Bowl, but he also oversaw the mid-2018 transformation of the Ravens offense from Joe Flacco to Lamar Jackson.
In the last few seasons, he has started to earn even more praise, regularly placing in the top five or six when writers give their head coach rankings across the league.
According to at least one prominent stat, however, even those rankings might not be doing him justice.
Highest avg DVOA for head coaches min. 4 seasons since 1985:
Walsh 31.2% (4)
Switzer 23.0% (4)
McVay 18.0% (4)
Ji.Harbaugh 17.9% (4)
Seifert 17.4% (11)
Belichick 17.2% (26)
Reid 16.3% (22)
Jo.Harbaugh 16.2% (13)
S.Payton 15.8% (14)
Cowher 15.6% (15)
Schottenheimer: 12.0% (20)
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) February 10, 2021
Football Outsiders' DVOA stat is one of the most widely-referenced analytics in the modern game. It's an all-encompassing stat that takes into consideration a team's offense, defense and special teams, and more importantly, its competition level for each game.
Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders recently shared on Twitter the highest average DVOA for the best coaches in modern NFL history (their database goes back to 1985) and Harbaugh does quite well. If you raise the minimum number of seasons in the league to five, Harbaugh ranks as fourth-best in the last 35 years.
Harbaugh (16.2% average DVOA over 13 years) is behind only George Seifert (17.4%, 11 years), Bill Belichik (17.2%, 26 years) and Andy Reid (16.3%, 22 years). He's also sixth since 1985 in cumulative DVOA, adding up his number over the years, which rewards coaches who both have high peaks and longevity.
Football Outsiders also did an early, pre-free agency projection for 2021's DVOA rankings, where the Ravens come in at 7.7%, good for eighth overall in the NFL. But if Harbaugh's history is any indication, Ravens fans should expect a higher number once the 2021 season gets going.