Quincy Enunwa is sizzling again. "He's the hot topic," Ryan Fitzpatrick agreed.
And why not after Enunwa's five-catch, 109-yard game against the Patriots? The centerpiece was his corner-of-the-end-zone 22-yard beauty to lift the Jets from "behind" to temporarily ahead, 17-13, with 10:17 to play.
But there was also his over-the-shoulder 40-yard snare in the first quarter, his 21-yard third-down converter in the second, and his sliding 23-yard snare late in the game. Add his 3-yard grab that maybe should have gone for 4 yards and another first down early on and he enjoyed the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.
"Definitely confidence and comfortability are key to why that's happening," Enunwa told me today of his return to the forefront of the passing attack after a couple of one-catch games against the Dolphins and Rams. "I think without those two things, a lot of the plays that I'm making this year wouldn't be happening."
We've mentioned some of the second-year man's receiving distinctions as he's emerged, and here's another: Enunwa became only the 11th different player in Jets history to grab at least four 20-yard catches in a game, the first to do it since Santana Moss against Minnesota in 2002, and the first to do it with at least one TD catch since Al Toon at Seattle in 1986.
Of course, earlier in '86, Wesley Walker had one of the Jets' four-catch classics against the Dolphins — grabs of 65, 50, 21 and 43 yards, all for touchdowns and the last in overtime in the 51-45 thriller.
That's some fast company, but Enunwa gives the polite but unmistakable impression that he belongs in the conversation. He's looking forward to finishing strong these last five games, beginning on the Monday night stage against Indianapolis, not just for himself but for what it will mean to the wideout group going forward. It's intriguing to think that some combination of Brandon Marshall, Decker, Enunwa, Robbie Anderson, Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall and Devin Smith will bring their different skills to the table for the Jets' 2017 offense.
"We're really going to push the envelope of what people think we can do," Enunwa said. "I think a lot of people are kind of limiting what these other guys can do, and they're going to come out here and really show out.
"And myself, I'm going to keep working. It's something I've been doing all year and something I want to continue to do. And I want to play these other teams that we've already played once, to show them that I'm capable of doing it again, or if they kind of limited me last time, to show them, hey, it's not going to happen this time."
The Jets Returned to the Practice Field on Wednesday to Begin Prep for Monday Night Football
Ijalana: No Colts PaybackBen Ijalana has been a Jets starting tackle most of this season now — five games on the right side, the last three on the left. You might think he's going into MNF with the attitude of lighting up Indianapolis, the team that drafted him in Round 2 in 2011, then let him go after two seasons and a third training camp. But that's not how Ben rolls.
"Not really, only because this will be my third time playing the Colts," Ijalana said, referring to the 2014 preseason opener and last year's Game 2 Monday night affair at Indy. "The way turnover works from year to year in the NFL, I know more of their trainers and equipment guys than players at this point. Let's be real — this is my fourth year with the Jets. I've been a Jet twice as long as I was a Colt, so it doesn't hit me like that."
What may hit Ijalana is 14th-year OLB Robert Mathis, who was a mere 11th-year man the last time the two were teammates and who, with this year's three sacks, has 121 for his career.
"He'll mostly be my guy, I believe," Ijalana said about lining up across from Mathis. "When I was there, I was a young guy and he treated me well. He's definitely GOAT status." Then, just to clarify, Ijalana said with a laugh, "That's 'Greatest Of All Time' goat, not the other kind. GOAT the acronym. Just in case."