For the New York Jets, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa added a much-needed spark to their offense as he was practically unstoppable in the first half of their Week 2 matchup.
Quincy Enunwa came onto the scene for the New York Jets last year as a tight end/wide receiver hybrid, which he truly is. Standing at 6’2″, 225 pounds, Enunwa is a very tough player to strategize against. He can outmatch corners with his strength, and fly by defenders with his speed.
The 2014 6th-round draftee has opened the eyes of Jet fans throughout the first two weeks of the season. He is already nine receptions away from 22; his total through 12 games all of the last year. This year, he brings a whole different dynamic to the Jets’ offense. They have the chance to put up record numbers through the air with three great receivers.
During that first drive, you could see the talent this guy has. The ability he possesses was on display early with an acrobatic catch for 34 yards over cornerback Stephon Gilmore, bringing the Jets into Buffalo territory. Later on the drive, Enunwa would take a screen pass on Buffalo’s 36 and fight his way to their 26, converting his second third-and-long of the drive. The Jets would settle for 3.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would connect with Enunwa three more times during the first half against three different defenders, giving him five snags for 90 yards. He would leave the game after one more catch in the third quarter after an apparent rib injury, finishing with 6 catches for 92 yards.
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Having Enunwa become a bigger part of this offense not only helps his development as a player, but it also takes the stress off of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker giving the passing game more flexibility.
Running back Matt Forte proves that age is just a number.
He has done a spectacular job thus far in his debut season with the Jets.
Forte kept the ball rolling against the Bills, tallying a career-high 30 carries that went for close to 100 yards while matching another career-high 3 touchdowns. No big deal.
Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has brought back the ground and pound offense to New York, as he did last year with running back Chris Ivory.
Ivory wasn’t a big dual-threat guy. He could shed off seven defenders, but catching out of the backfield wasn’t his forte (yes, I just did that). The Jets now feature a guy who has reached the 450+ receiving plateau six times in his career, fitting perfectly into this offense.
Forte punished the Bills on the Jets’ last scoring drive, which capped off his 3-TD performance. Gang Green had a huge stop on fourth-and-one, led by the returning defensive end Sheldon Richardson, which allowed the offense to put the game away. The nine-year vet would utilize every side of the field, having rushes go to the left, right, and eventually up the middle, for a walk-in score to put the Jets up 37-24. Forte has shown us his elusiveness and ability not only to push the ball down the middle but also work the sidelines and turn it up the field.
The offensive line has performed tremendously.
The offensive line seemed to answer all the questions that surrounded the team in the preseason. Who would step up to replace offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson? What’s going on at right tackle? Can center Nick Mangold still produce at his age?
Well, the Jets would pick up offensive tackle Ryan Clady to fill the shoes of Brick. Offensive linemen Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana would split reps while Breno Giacomini is hurt, Mangold would stay put, and James Carpenter would return.
So you have two Super Bowl-winning guys on the left side, a 7x Pro Bowler in Mangold, and a young and flexible right side.
Mangold and company have been able to step up when adversity strikes. For example offensive guard James Carpenter went down Thursday against the Bills in a scary sequence of events, as Brandon Marshall was also hurt on the play.
It had fans and players hold their breath for a moment. Luckily, both would end up alright, but Carpenter wouldn’t return with a calf strain. Third-year offensive guard Wesley Johnson would step in, contributing to the stellar performance of the offensive line.
Thursday night showed us how experienced this team is, and how it is built to win now. Honestly, the scoreboard doesn’t justify how one-sided this game really was. Although the defense has been giving up big plays these past two weeks, and Revis Island seems to be more of a vacation spot for receivers, you can’t complain otherwise.
The front seven have played extremely well, and that can be taken as an understatement. Finally, this offense has come together and showed New York fans what it is fully capable of doing. Forte has been able to put up great numbers behind a very deep offensive line, and Enunwa is emerging as one of the Jets’ top weapons. Not to mention, Fitzpatrick beat a Rex Ryan defense and did it with ease.