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NY Jets Spotlight: Quincy Enunwa

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After the game, if the Jets win, will analysts explain the win with "Enunwa happened"?

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Welcome to the Jets Spotlight.   Here we spotlight one key player for each game of the season, hopefully putting a different player in the spotlight each week. Today's player in the spotlight is third year h-back/wide receiver/tight end/some as-yet-to-be-named, new-to-the-NFL-position player Quincy Enunwa.    Enunwa is a 24 year old, 6' 2", 225 pound something-or-other out of the University of Nebraska.  Enunwa was drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round as the 209th overall selection of the 2014 NFL draft.  The return on investment for that sixth round selection has been promising to date.

After spending all but the final week of the 2014 season on the Jets practice squad and never being active in a game his rookie year, Enunwa began to emerge in 2015.  With the installation of a new coaching staff, and in particular a new offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey, Enunwa started to carve out a unique role in the Jets offense.  Used primarily as a hybrid h-back/ tight end type of player, Enunwa showed outstanding blocking skills that helped to spring the Jets running attack.  In the absence of any NFL-quality tight ends, Enunwa also began to fill that void out of his unique position.  As the year wore on the Jets began to look to exploit Enunwa's excellent height/ speed/ strength combination in the passing game.  While his overall 2015 receiving numbers were minimal, Enunwa began to carve out a receiving role in the last half of the 2015 season.  Over his final seven games Enunwa was targeted 29 times, emerging as the third non-running back option in the Jets' attack behind star wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.  Over that seven game stretch Enunwa caught a modest 14 passes for 221 yards.  As the 2016 season has kicked into gear Quincy Enunwa has expanded upon that role, becoming a legitimate threat in the passing attack.  Over the first two games of the 2016 season Enunwa has been targeted 14 times and caught 13 passes for 146 yards and his only NFL touchdown.  Through two weeks in 2016 Enunwa is on pace for 104 receptions for 1168 yards and eight touchdowns.  If Decker and Marshall remain healthy there is little chance Enunwa will keep up that pace, as there are only so many targets to go around, but he appears to be emerging as a legitimate force in the passing game.

Here are Quincy Enunwa's statistics for his two+ years in the NFL.

Year

Games

Targets

Receptions

Yards

TDs

.

2014

0

0

0

0

0

2015

12

46

22

315

0

2016

2

14

13

146

1

The Jets may be missing their best receiver in Brandon Marshall in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.  Marshall is hobbled with knee and foot ailments and is considered a game time decision.  Even if Marshall plays it seems likely he will not be 100% and may be used more as a decoy than a major component in the Jets passing attack.  If Marshall does not play or is used mostly as a decoy, somebody will need to step up opposite Eric Decker.  That somebody needs to be Quincy Enunwa.  For the first time in his brief career Enunwa may be a focal point on the offense and somebody the defense game plans to stop.  As the third or fourth option in the passing game Enunwa had little pressure on him and rarely saw premier defensive backs covering him.  As possibly the second option on Sunday that may all change.

A tight, low scoring affair is exactly what the Chiefs want.  They are masters at ball control and field position and limiting turnovers to a minimum.  The Chiefs would like nothing better than a grind it out slugfest.  It's up to the Jets to up the ante on offense.  Quincy Enunwa figures to play a big role in doing so.  If Enunwa can prove to be a legitimate offensive force against the opponent's better defensive backs on Sunday, if he can use his size and speed to break open a tight game, the Jets should be in good shape to emerge with a win at Arrowhead Stadium.  If, on the other hand, Enunwa wilts in the spotlight and disappears in the face of the likely increased defensive focus on him by a good defensive team, then it may be difficult for the Jets to get much going in the passing attack.  The Jets passing attack has needed a scary third option to fill in when needed for Decker or Marshall and to dominate opponents' third or fourth best defensive backs when the big two are healthy.  The emergence of Enunwa could take the Jets offense to the next level; we may begin to find out if Enunwa is legitimate in that role on Sunday.

Welcome to the spotlight Quincy Enunwa.  May you shine bright and have something of a coming out party on Sunday afternoon against the Chiefs.