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David Akers: Starting Maligned Kicker Won't Derail 49ers' Super Bowl Run

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David Akers: Starting Maligned Kicker Won't Derail 49ers' Super Bowl Run
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There's been a lot of talk about kicker David Akers' struggles this season as the San Francisco 49ers get ready to make a run to the Super Bowl.

Heck, Akers reportedly had to shut down his Twitter account because of death threats, according to the Associated Press, via NFL.com.

But, the reality is the 49ers should still make it to the Super Bowl this season, despite the team deciding to stick with Akers (per the San Jose Mercury News).

Perhaps what is most ridiculous about the outrage directed toward Akers this season is that there is only one loss that one could conceivably blame on the 38-year-old. He missed a 51-yard field goal toward the end of regulation in the 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 13.

Of course, it's a team game too, and the 49ers were certainly not at their best in that loss. Frank Gore averaged 2.5 yards per carry, and Colin Kaepernick averaged 6.5 yards per pass attempt (his lowest mark as a starter this season).

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While Akers could miss a crucial kick in the playoffs (he's 9-of-19 from 40 yards or more this season), I don't believe it will come to that. I think San Francisco is a strong enough team to overcome its next two opponents regardless (Green Bay and Seattle/Atlanta).

Remember, the 49ers defeated the Packers in Week 1, 30-22, and Green Bay isn't the same offensive juggernaut as it was last season. Also, Green Bay is a mediocre 4-4 away from Lambeau Field this season. That includes a 37-34 loss to the Minnesota Vikings to close out the regular season.

The Seahawks would likely be the biggest challenge for the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game (given the 42-13 thrashing of San Francisco in Week 16), but I like the 49ers at Candlestick Park in that matchup, where they are 6-1-1 this season.

You can't exactly have a lot of faith in Akers heading into the postseason at this point, but San Francisco has the make-up to get past his shortcomings. In the end, it's a team game, and Akers and the 49ers will do enough to make it to New Orleans.

 

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