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Breaking down the key plays | Texans win in finale against Colts

It's been at least an hour since Jordan Akins made what was one of the most improbable catches of any season and I STILL don't know what happened! I mean, I know what happened, but I don't KNOW what happened. That said, here's my Key Play Breakdown from the finale, a thrilling 32-31 win over the Colts in Indianapolis.

Week 18 Key Play Breakdown

1. Jonathan Greenard's pick-six

2nd Quarter - 10:40 remaining
Texans lead 10-7
+42 yard line

The Colts offense started to get on track a bit in the second quarter and they had the ball at the 42-yard line after a first down. The Colts went back to their bunch set to the left and rookie WR Alec Pierce isolated on the right side. The Texans brought a cross dog blitz - the DL slanted to the left and the LBs cross-blitzed on the right side. A Colts OL tackled Texans DL Rasheem Green and yanked him to the ground but he crawled out and then dove at Colts QB Sam Ehlinger's feet for what appeared to be a key sack. But, Ehlinger didn't go down and, instead, tried to make something out of nothing, floating the football over the middle of the field to RB Deon Jackson. It never got there as DL Jon Greenard leapt up and snatched the interception and sprinted to the end zone with his first TD as a Texan. Lovie Smith reminded me at halftime that was the first time that the defense had scored all year and it was the perfect time.

(...and thank god Green got pressure because the Texans lost a Colt pass catcher in coverage but Ehlinger didn't have time to find him.)

2. Christian Kirksey's INT

2nd Quarter - 4:56 remaining
Texans lead 17-7
-13-yard line

The Colts marched into Texans territory with just under five minutes left in the half. On the sideline, I had already chalked up points for the Colts as they were in chip shot field goal range. But, DL Ogbo Okoronkwo had a different idea. The Colts came out in a bunch to the left side with their top three receivers there, while TE Jelani Woods was isolated on the other side of the field. The Texans played zone and clogged up nearly all the passing lanes, which forced Ehlinger to hold the football longer than he wanted. Now, here's where Ogbo came in. He hit rookie LT Berhard Raimann with a wicked inside spin move and that forced Ehlinger to move out to his left. But, in the process, Ogbo fell down but he got right back up, kept chasing Ehlinger and like he did at Dallas got his hand on Ehlinger's elbow as he threw. The ball fluttered a bit and fell right into the hands of LB Christian Kirksey, who snatched his second interception of the year.

3. Jordan Akins TD

3rd Quarter - 3:56 remaining
Texans lead 17-14
+19 yard line

The Texans came out in 11 personnel with Akins in a traditional Y-TE spot on the right side. The Colts decided to play man coverage and brought a five man pressure. That put S Rodney McCleod Jr. on Akins but the Colts defender played off coverage, which gave Akins a free release off the line of scrimmage. Akins ran a stick/nod double move. He ran a stick route turning out briefly right at the first down marker, gave it a nod and then turned up the seam. That route was a beauty. I had my eyes on Akins the whole time and that stick/nod got him a step or two on McCleod and QB Davis Mills lofted a perfectly thrown pass to Akins for a TD.

4. Brandin Cooks' fourth-down catch

4th Quarter - 1:26 remaining
Texans trailed 31-24
+48-yard line

The Texans had to have one after three plays netted a negative two yards as the clock ticked down late in the game. The Texans had 11 personnel in the game and motioned Brandin Cooks to the left side into the #2 WR position, with Akins inside and Amari Rodgers outside, setting up a trips formation on that left side. It appeared the Colts answered by playing cover two. Rodgers and Cooks used a switch release to get Cooks up the sideline, as Rodgers held the safety with a post route. Cooks ran a beautiful out and up, which put him behind the cornerback and in front of the safety, open on the sideline. Rodgers' post route held S Rodney Thomas on the hash which gave time and space for Davis Mills to drop a dime on Cooks on the sideline for a HUGE first down.

5. Akins Hail Mary TD

4th Quarter - 0:58 remaining
Texans trailed 31-24
+28-yard line

The Texans were down to one at bat on 4th-and-12 earlier and converted for the first down. This time, though, a miracle was needed. They could still get a first down but the 4th-and-20 conversion percentage is what, like 1-in-75 ish? Regardless, the Texans put all five receivers into the route with three receivers to the field (right side) and two to the left (left side). They ran all verticals near the end zone. Mills got some pressure and rolled right and then heaved to the end zone. Against Dallas, when the Texans ran a Hail Mary, I saw Akins in the middle of the pack getting mauled and doing his own mauling too. So, as Davis let it go, I shot my eyes to Akins in the middle. The Colts were not going to let him get his hands on it. One guy was face guarding him and Rodney Thomas was playing free and running toward the pass. But, he misjudged the ball in the air and it went through, or even, over his hands, into the lap of Akins for a touchdown. I just have no idea how he didn't intercept the ball or knock it down. The crowd went dead silent and I just remember standing there on the sideline mouth agape as if "did that JUST happen?!?" Unreal. I can't remember an ending like that, well one that went FOR the Texans.

6. The go-ahead two-point conversion

Texans trailed 31-30

The Texans motioned Akins into a bunch set to see if the Colts would declare coverage. Akins told me after the game that he got a man read and he knew exactly what was going to be open. He ran up the field with Thomas on him with inside man coverage leverage and then he just broke out to the sideline and Thomas had no chance to stay with him, especially so after he slipped down. Akins juggled the ball on his way down because he started to lose his feet but he held on for the improbable two point conversion and the 32-31 win.

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