Two games into the 2016 season the Jets’ offense has shown it has the potential to be just as dangerous as a year ago.
The emergence of wide receiver Quincy Enunwa has become one of the team’s top storylines worth following. The third-year pro is no longer catching an occasional ball or two, he’s quickly become a key part of the passing game.
In the Jets’ 37-31 road win over the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found success through the air with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker while Matt Forte supplied the ground attack.
Marshall and Decker both came out of Buffalo with 100-yard receiving performances, while Forte ran for 100 yards on 30 carries. It was the formula many expect to see from the Jets this season whenever the offense takes the field.
Enunwa, however, played just as big in his role as the team’s third wideout. He caught six passes for 92 yards while doing the majority of his damage in the first half. Enunwa’s presence on the field helped open up passing lanes for Fitzpatrick to successfully find Marshall and Decker against Buffalo’s secondary.
What Enunwa represents for the Jets is that added dimension, which was missing from the team a year ago. He’s that third pass-catching threat which creates headaches for opposing teams to scheme against.
Enunwa’s worked his way up from a sixth-round draft pick to a primary role on the team, it’s the type of feel-good story which only happens with hard work on the practice field and a commitment to improving daily.
“I think he’s worked on his craft,” said head coach Todd Bowles. “He’s worked on his hands every day in the offseason. He’s worked on his feet. He’s worked on his route running.”
“Quincy is a tireless worker,” Bowles continued. “And a lot of the things you see that he’s doing now is paying off from the offseason. And I think Justus (Galac), our strength coach, has done a great job with him as far as getting his footwork together and him playing with more balance.”
Enunwa’s size, 6-2 and 225 pounds, makes him a mismatch and a coverage nightmare for opponents. He’s not the ideal slot receiver, the Jets can line him up wherever. His emergence also offsets any lack of production the team could be feeling from the tight end position.
Last season, while the Jets were surprising everyone with the numbers they were putting up on offense, Enunwa was making key contributions mostly as a blocker. He’s now become much more than that, he’s a difference-maker and an X-factor.
Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is as creative as they get when it comes to finding the one-on-one matchup to take advantage of, he’s done an excellent job of putting Enunwa in a position to win wherever he’s lined up on the field.
Through two games, Enunwa is the team’s leading receiver with 13 receptions.
After a shaky preseason and an uneven performance in the season opener against the Bengals, the Jets finally gave fans an extended look into what their offense can potentially be in 2016.
The emergence of Enunwa will only make life that much easier for Fitzpatrick and the Jets. It should also help continue lighting up the scoreboard.