Jordan Akins capped off the best season of his five-year NFL career with his best game of the 2022 season.
The veteran tight end caught a pair of second half touchdowns, as well as the go-ahead 2-point conversion pass that proved to be the final points of the Texans' Week 18 32-31 victory at Indianapolis.
Akins finished with four catches for 70 yards, and completed 2022 with 37 receptions for a career-best 495 yards and five scores.
No catch, though, was bigger than his 28-yard touchdown grab with 0:58 left in regulation. QB Davis Mills, on 4th-and-20 at the Indianapolis 28-yard line, bought enough time to heave it into a clump of bodies in the end zone. Akins emerged with the ball, six points and a chance for the Texans to tie or win the contest.
"Fortunately, Jordan Akins stepped up big time," Mills said. "I think the defender might have mistimed his jump a little but, but luck was on our side. He found a way to make a play and get in the end zone. He made a big time catch for the touchdown and ended up answering again for the 2-point conversion."
Houston went for the win, so Mills fired one to Akins again. The tight end caught it, Houston went ahead by a point, and the defense held on for the third victory of 2022.
Fellow tight end Teagan Quitoriano was also important this afternoon. He caught three passes for 83 yards, including a 52-yarder that set up Akins' 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The rookie was excited for his veteran teammate.
"He came up huge," Quitoriano said. "He always does. I'm proud of him and I'm excited for the offseason for him."
Akins was a third round pick of the Texans in 2018. He left in free agency last offseason for the Giants, but was cut by New York during training camp. Akins signed on to the Texans practice squad September 1, didn't get elevated until Week 3 at Chicago and wound up getting pulled up for good to the 53-man roster in mid-October.
"I definitely overcame a lot of adversity, moving my family from Houston to New Jersey, and we ended up coming right back," Akins said. "It was tough for myself and my family. We prayed and it worked out in our favor."
With all he and his family went through, having the impactful day was extra sweet for Akins.
"It's just a cherry on top," Akins said. "I can't wait to go home and hug my family, my fiancee and my kids."
Akins and the Texans will gather one last time on Monday to meet and clean out lockers for the offseason.