New York Jets look to go winless on the road

It is so much easier for fans to be accepted in enemy territory with paper bags over their heads.

The 1964 New York Jets finished 5-8-1. They lost all seven road games with only one loss fewer than 10 points. The Jets featured four Pro Bowl players in LB Larry Grantham, FB Matt Snell, and OT's, Sherman Plunkett and Winston Hill. New York had a future Hall of Fame coach in Weeb Ewbank, but featured Dick Wood and rookie, Mike Taliaferro at QB.

QB Dick Wood completed only 47.9% of his passes with 17 TD's and 25 interceptions with a passer rating of 54.9. In limited action, Mike Taliaferro had two TD's, 5 interceptions, completed 31.5% of his passes with a 28.4 passer rating.

The Jets traded rights to QB Jerry Rhome, their 25th-round draft pick, to Houston for a first-round choice, with which they selected Alabama QB Joe Namath.

The 2005 New York Jets were led by head coach, Herman Edwards. The Jets were coming off a 10-6 season with league leading rusher, RB Curtis Martin. QB Chad Pennington had led the Jets to a playoff win over the San Diego Chargers, and an overtime loss to the 15-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. Chad's seven year $64 million deal solidified the Jets' faith in him as their franchise QB.

A shoulder injury in Week 3 of 2005 against the Jacksonville Jaguars ended Pennington's season. The backup, Jay Fielder was also injured. Vinny Testaverde, out of work since being released by Dallas after the previous season, was signed as the emergency backup to Brooks Bollinger. Brooks was a sixth round pick out of the University of Wisconsin who had attempted only nine passes in the NFL prior to 2005. 42 year old Vinny Testaverde started the final three games, including
the finale against 43 year old Doug Flutie of the New England Patriots.

In 2014, the New York Jets have a solid chance of going winless on the road. Only the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins stand in the way of that dubious feat. The Jets possess an beleagured general manager in John Idzik who left $24 million under the salary cap. They have a lame duck head coach in Rex Ryan who is still bewildered by a 2-11 team.

The Jets clearly are at a disadvantage in QB play with Geno Smith under center. Geno is the lowest rated passer in the NFL, and leads the 30th ranked offense. The backup is Michael Vick who is the 42nd rated passer.

In Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, Geno threw only seven times prior to the fourth quarter two minute warning. It would be hard to believe that he could pass his way to victory when the Dolphins may still have playoff aspirations in the final game.

The only hope for a road victory for the New York Jets is Sunday in Tennessee. The Titans are 30th in the NFL on defense. On offense, Tennessee is 23rd in passing and 28th in rushing. On defense, the Titans are last against the run, but 18th against the pass."

Would it be out of the question for the New York Jets to unveil the "Run and Shoot?"

The basic idea behind the Run & Shoot is a flexible offense that adjusts "on the fly," as the receivers are free to adjust their routes as they are running them in response to the defensive coverage employed. The quarterback, as a result, also has to read and react to the defense's coverages in a more improvised manner than with other offensive systems.

"Never say never."

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

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