Florham Park, NJ - The Jets receiver with the most receptions so far this season isn't Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker, no the Jets receiver leading the team in catches is actually Quincy Enunwa. This may be surprising to many of you, but it shouldn't be if you've been paying attention to JetsInsider's coverage throughout training camp.
With Marshall and Decker commanding all the attention on the outside and opposing linebackers having to worry about Matt Forte or Bilal Powell catching passes out of the backfield the middle of the field is Enunwa's private property to own. Last week he decided to expand his property as he staked his claim on the outside as well, catching short screens and running for big first downs and making impressive catches deep down the sidelines. Enunwa has shed the label of a glorified tight end and while he can still deliver devastating blocks to clear lanes for Forte or Powell he is being to show everyone that he is a talented wide receiver first.
Enunwa leads the team in receptions, with 13 to Decker's eight and Marshall's nine, and he very well might be leading the team in receiving yards as well if he didn't have to miss the entire fourth quarter against the Bills. As it is, he's just 17 yards behind Decker. Decker has 163 receiving yards, Enunwa 146 and Marshall 133 and if Enunwa keeps playing this way defenses will have to give him the attention he deserves which will then free up Marshall or Decker to get more one-on-one opportunities. We saw this last Thursday against the Bills, as Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Enunwa early and often then all of a sudden Marshall and Decker started running free.
All last year the Jets struggled to find a third receiver to rely on, now Enunwa has begun to prove that his hands can be trusted and he can be that long lost third receiving target. With Forte, Powell and Jalin Marshall also getting in on the fun, the Jets not only have a third receiving option but a fourth and fifth as well.
"I think a lot of it for him, he's come along way as a receiver, is his confidence. He wants the ball. He's getting open. He's making tough, contested catches," Fitzpatrick said about Enunwa's growth. "A lot of it is just his mental state, how confident he is as a football player right now. It hasn't just been good for him — it's been great for our offense. We feed off of his confidence and how physical he is and the different plays that he's made in the first two games.
Brandon Marshall has been so impressed with the play of Enunwa, and Decker, that when he was asked about if he plans to play on Sunday, he joked that he better make sure he gets his injured knee right in time for next week or he could find himself out of a job.
"Obviously that's coach's decision and it's also the doctors," Brandon Marshall said. "I got to listen to them, but as far as me personally, I've always prided myself on being tough and being out there no matter what's going on and try to be relentless in my rehab, and pre-hab, especially with Quincy playing the way he's playing. And Eric Decker playing the way they're playing, you know if I take any time off I might not have a job.
"I remember my second year in the league, Rod Smith went down, Javon Walker went down and I end up having 100 catches that year and I took a couple of spots. So, I can't let little Quincy take my spot right now. So, I'm going to work really hard to get out there as fast as possible."
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)