It’s been a rough year for Breshad Perriman as he adjusts to his new team, and another rough year for Jordan Akins as he adjusts to his new league, but the pair of UCF Knights alumni had their best showings of the season on Sunday.
Breshad Perriman bounced around from Baltimore to Cleveland with a pit stop in Washington earlier this season, but he never looked more comfortable than he did Sunday against the Panthers.
The former first-round pick caught a career-high 81 yards in his best game as a Brown, including a 66-yard bomb from Baker Mayfield.
The catch shot the Browns’ drive out of a cannon from their own 25 to Carolina’s 9. Two plays later, Jarvis Landry ran the ball in from three yards out to tie the game at 7. The Browns went on to win against the Panthers, 26-20.
In Houston, Jordan Akins and the Texans were looking to win their tenth straight contest as the Colts came into town for their annual visit.
On the team’s third drive in the first quarter, Deshaun Watson connected with Akins for just his 14th catch of the season, resulting in a 13 yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, Watson scrambled and found Akins outside the pocket downfield in arguably his most acrobatic catch of the season.
Jordan Akins has been flashing this kind of skill set in limited sample sizes all season. Amazing play on a heavily contested ball. pic.twitter.com/5THW1R10iE— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 9, 2018
The Colts’ defender was called for unnecessary roughness after the catch, resulting in a 42-yard play for the former UCF tight end. He contributed the first 55 yards of passing offense in the game, and the drive was capped off by an Alfred Blue 2-yard rushing touchdown.
Akins was not featured in the passing game for the rest of the day, but this season, Houston has often preferred utilizing him as a blocker rather than a receiver given that Houston looks to be a run-first offense. However, Akins has caught a ball in each of the last four games, a sign that the team is feeling more comfortable using him in the passing game.
On the flip side for the Texans, the Colts got the win, large in part to the play of former UCF safety Clayton Geathers.
The Class of 2015 Alum-knight notched nine tackles for the Colts and earned them a much-needed win to keep pace for the second wild card in the AFC.
Meanwhile, on the NFC side, the Saints’ win over the Buccaneers clinched a playoff spot and division title for New Orleans. It’s the second straight division title for the Saints, the first time the team has clinched consecutive titles in franchise history.
Despite neither recording a catch on Sunday, both Tre’Quan Smith and Brandon Marshall will be heading to the playoffs.
For Smith, he makes the playoffs in his rookie season, but it’s been a long time coming for Marshall. The Class of 2006 Alum-knight has not made the playoffs in his 13-year career. And although he might be buried in the receiver depth chart for the Saints, at least he can say he was a member of a postseason performer.
Another team primed to make a possible postseason run is the Seattle Seahawks. The Griffin twins have been strong on defense and special teams and can make the playoffs likely by winning two of its final four games. With two of those games coming against Arizona and San Francisco, playoffs are likely for Seattle, but tonight, the team could further improve those odds by defeating Mike Hughes’ Minnesota Vikings.
Hughes went down in Week 6 with an ACL tear, and the Vikings have not particularly played well since the team lost its first-round rookie. Since Hughes’ injury, the team is just 3-3, but a win tonight will help their playoff chances increase.
It’s certainly been a good week for the Knights across the NFL.