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NY Jets: Fitz On The Road

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Looking for a signature road win this week? The Jets and Fitzpatrick will have to overturn lots of history to do it.

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

It's always tough to get a road victory in the NFL.  Even mediocre teams play much better at home, and good teams struggle on the road.  It gets even tougher when you face a good team on the road.  Add in starting Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback against a good team, and your chances of winning nearly vanish.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has played 47 road games in the NFL.  His record in those games is 16-31.  Obviously not great, but not completely awful when you consider how difficult it is to win on the road in the NFL.  But look closer.  Look at the games he has started on the road against teams that finished better than .500 on the year.  In 2014 he was 0-3 in those games.  In 2013 he was 0-3.  2012:  0-2.  2011: 0-3.  2010: 0-3.  2009: 1-0.  2008: 0-3.  2005: 0-1.  Career record in starts against winning teams on the road:  1-18.

Are you curious which unlucky winning team lost to Fitzpatrick at home?  That would be the 2009 Mark Sanchez led New York Jets, by the score of 16-13.  That was the game the Jets threw six interceptions, five by Sanchez.  Despite those six giveaways, Fitzpatrick and the Bills could only muster 16 points that game, throwing for just 116 yards, completing just 40% of his passes and throwing for a passer rating of just 51.

All this isn't meant to be overly critical of Fitzpatrick.  All but the best quarterbacks struggle badly on the road, and earning wins against winning teams on the road is especially difficult.  What really merits emphasis here is not that Fitzpatrick stinks on the road.  Without doing the research, I would imagine quarterbacks of his pedigree in general have similar records on the road against winning teams.  It is why the Jets have only won one game on the road against a winning team since 2010.  What really merits emphasis here is not Fitzpatrick's failures.  Rather it is just how difficult this Monday Night matchup with the Colts is going to be for the Jets.  I have seen Buffalo's dismantling of the Colts last week put forth as evidence of the Colts' vulnerability this Monday.  Believe that at your own peril.   The Colts are still a good team, coming off a AFC Championship game appearance, led by a very good quarterback.  In the comfortable environment of Indianapolis, it will be extremely difficult for the Jets to knock them off.  Doing so would and should considerably raise the level of optimism for Jets fans this season.  That would be nice, but I wouldn't count on it.  History says that just is very unlikely to happen.