The Los Angeles Chargers have hired Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach and that poses a big problem for the Indianapolis Colts. Fresh off of leading his alma mater Michigan to a national championship, Harbaugh will take another shot in the NFL with Justin Herbert as his franchise QB and an attempt to get the Chargers back into postseason relevance.
Harbaugh has been impressive everywhere he’s coached and has an almost instantaneous impact on the roster he’s assembled, usually resulting in a lot of wins and postseason success. His head coaching career started in 2004 at the University of San Diego where in three season he led the Toreros to a 7-4 record and back-to-back 11-1 seasons that resulted in consecutive league championships.
Durin his four-year tenure at Stanford, he went 29-21 and led the Trees to an appearance in the Sun Bowl and an Orange Bowl victory. His four years with the San Francisco 49ers? 44-19-1 with a Super Bowl runner-up and three straight NFC Championship appearances. His nine-year stint at Michigan? 89-25 with 8 Bowl game appearances and winning the 2023 national championship.
Jim Harbaugh wins everywhere he goes.
That will be an issue for the Colts and the rest of the AFC hopefuls looking to make the postseason in 2024 and beyond. Harbaugh will get the Chargers and Justin Herbert, who is the best quarterback he’s worked with since Andrew Luck, on the right track and out of the AFC cellar. With seven playoff spots and an already loaded AFC, it means the logjam of teams competing for playoff spots will get even tougher.
The Colts were close to a postseason spot this year even without Anthony Richardson under center the majority of the season but with teams like the Chiefs, Ravens and Bills regularly locking up postseason spots plus the Dolphins, Bengals, Jaguars, Texans, Steelers, Jets, Browns and now the Chargers all potentially getting better it means the Colts will have even stiffer competition with even less playoff spots available.
The Colts will need a hell of an off-season to stay competitive in the AFC. Not only do they need to lock up some key in-house free agents (*cough Michael Pittman Jr. cough*) but they also need to try and shore up some weak spots on the roster via free agency and the draft and hope that Anthony Richardson makes a full recovery, can stay healthy and makes strides next season to push the team further than they got without him in 2023.
That’s a tall order for the Colts but the Chargers window has been shoved wide open now with Harbaugh at the helm, the Colts will have to do their part to shut that window as best they can.
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