The San Francisco 49ers fans are hoping that they don't have to rely on David Akers on Super Bowl Sunday after his difficult season. The fans of the Philadelphia Eagles know how they feel. Akers had a stellar 2011 with the San Francisco 49ers, but 2012 has been anything but good.
Although Akers is nursing injuries it appears that in the NFL playoffs he has not been reliable. Can the 49ers trust Akers with the Super Bowl on the line?
David Akers is a solid NFL kicker and certainly has earned his place in the league. He is a career 81 percent field goal kicker and was 294-357 in his ten-year tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He showed no signs of stopping in 2011 when he went 44-52, which is an 84 percent make rate. 2012 started off looking similar to 2011. In fact, Akers even kicked a 63-yard try against the Green Bay Packers in week one.
What should keep Jim Harbaugh awake at night is Akers' abysmal 2012 regular season, coupled with his shaky playoff record over the last 3 years. Akers was successful 74 percent of the time at Candlestick Park this year, but a terrible 65 percent on the road. He made 73 percent when the 49ers were in the lead, but managed only 58 percent when they were behind.
During the 2012 regular season Akers was 29 for 42. Of the 13 missed field goals this season three of them were blocked. I think we can ignore those and focus on the other 10. Here is a breakdown of the 10 that were not blocked:
50+ yards: 4
40-49 yards: 5
30-39 yards: 1
His misses were an average of 45.5 percent long, not counting the blocked attempts. Basically, this tells us that Akers is having a hard time with kicks over 40 yards, which is understandable considering the leg issues he has endured this season. However, his road and playing from behind statistics show signs of buckling under the pressure.
If you look at his playoff performances between 2010-2012 Akers is 6-9 on his field goal attempts. However, the breakdowns are not promising.
40 + yards: 1-2
30-39 yards: 2-4
30 yards or less: 3-3
The point is that Akers was only 50 percent accurate on attempts over 30 yards. That should be concerning.
The Eagles let Akers go after a 1 for 3 performance in a playoff loss against Green Bay. It was later revealed that Akers' daughter was sick in the hospital and that he was understandably distracted.
However, the Eagles lost that game by five and Andy Reid famously stated that, "We can all count. Those points would've helped." As you can imagine, Akers did not appreciate those comments after years of exceptional service.
David Akers is well liked in Philadelphia and many fans believe that it was a mistake to let him go in the first place. If Akers comes up short in the Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers it might add some credence to his dispatch from Philadelphia by Andy Reid.
Akers is close to the Harbaugh family and that loyalty could dictate the outcome of this year's Super Bowl. It might also lead the 49ers fans wondering "what if?" like the Eagles fans did in 2010.