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It doesn't seem so long ago that we were bemoaning the inability of Quincy Enunwa to establish himself as a number three receiver. In the first half yesterday, he basically established himself as a number one. Enunwa made some terrific grabs, made a great play after the catch on a short pass and drew a key first down on a penalty, while also making contributions as a blocker. He basically carried them to a field goal single-handedly on an otherwise error-strewn opening drive.
When Brandon Marshall decided to play bend-but-not-break with his left knee and departed to the locker room, it wasn't a problem. Enunwa opened the next drive with a couple of first down catches. At that point, Enunwa had 90 yards and Marshall and Eric Decker had just 74 between them. Immediately, Enunwa's success paid dividends elsewhere as Marshall returned and caught a first down and then Decker had a first down catch followed by a touchdown.
The end result, even though Enunwa caught just one short pass in the second half, was that Marshall and Decker both ended up with over 100 yards. Enunwa fell just eight yards short of providing the team with their third 100-yard receiver to go along with a 100-yard rusher. Only Elias can tell us how unprecedented that might be in Jets or even NFL history.
What's exciting about Enunwa is not just the production (13 catches in two games) but also the consistency. For a player whose catch rate has been low in the past, it's exciting to see him catch all six of his targets, with most of them contested to some degree.
It was a relief to see Marshall return from a particularly gruesome-looking injury, but also to see him break out with some good production. Early on in the game he didn't seem to be getting much separation and wasn't featured much. Later on, he had a bad drop on a deep ball with the Jets trailing though.
Decker's ability to get deep, which the Jets coaches had been teasing during the offseason, adds another good dimension. One of his long catches came on an out-and-up which I was pleased to see because right from the start I felt that the way the Bills played up on the short intermediates would make them potentially susceptible to a double move.
One negative was that Jalin Marshall fumbled away his first career catch, gifting the Bills a crucial touchdown after earlier failing to hold onto a throw that was behind him. As I mentioned when I scouted Marshall after they first picked him up, you sometimes have to take the rough with the smooth with him. However, he bounced back superbly, which I was thrilled to see, making a tough contested catch inside the 10 and coming up with a clutch third down conversion on the outside. I remain high on the younger Marshall, despite his earlier errors.
Marshall also had one excellent block on a screen pass, along with Decker, although he messed one up on a similar play later on.
Robbie Anderson again saw brief action as Charone Peake was only active on special teams.
The Jets' tight ends conspired to summarize the paucity of pass catching talent at the position by each dropping their only target. However, the much-maligned Kellen Davis deserves big props for hustling to recover a fumble in a crowd on a play that had scoop-and-score written all over it. He and Brandon Bostick were otherwise pretty ineffective in the running game, but did contribute near the goal line.