HOUSTON – Jordan Akins took off on a well-designed tight-end screen, following key blocks downfield from Laremy Tunsil, Scott Quessenberry and Brandin Cooks.
The Texans’ tight end displayed some explosive moves, cutting across the field to elude pursuit before being tackled at the New York Giants’ 10-yard line.
This marked the second-longest catch of Akins’ career. He finished a 24-16 road loss with three receptions on three targets for a team-high 72 yards at MetLife Stadium.
“My goal is to score a touchdown whenever I get the ball and cross the pylon,” Akins said. “The offensive line did a great job opening up lanes. We got the mismatches we wanted and we capitalized. It was just a screen so I got the ball and my blocks were set perfectly thanks to my line. I made a cut and I made another cut and strided it out. I got to work on that speed in the offseason.”
Signed to the Texans’ practice squad after being released by the Giants before the start of the regular season, Akins has 14 receptions for 231 yards and one touchdown on 18 targets in seven games. Akins was promoted to the 53-man roster after a series of impressive performances.
He’s forging an increased role with his clutch catches and athleticism.
“Jordan Akins, it seemed like from the moment we picked him up, the guy has just made play after play,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said. “He’s a tough matchup. Tough matchup size-wise for a safety or a linebacker. Just what he’s been able to do. Every time we threw the ball, it seemed like he was able to make some type of big play.
“Wish we could’ve gotten one of those long ones into the end zone. He’s just a good, productive football player that we need to keep in the game plan and really need to get into the game plan more.”
The Texans dropped to 1-7-1 with the loss to the Giants as an interception by quarterback Davis Mills and a lost fumble by running back Dameon Pierce were among the offense’s five unsuccessful red-zone shots out of six overall.
“The turnovers killed us, man,” Akins said. “We have a lot of talent here. We’ve got to execute when we get in the red zone and not hurt ourselves with flags. We’ve got to keep chipping away and hopefully come out with some wins.”
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com