If Super Bowl XLVII comes down to a field-goal attempt, the San Francisco 49ers say they aren’t worried even though their kicker is no sure bet.
David Akers is coming off a regular season that was, to put it charitably, uncertain. It was so uncertain, in fact, that as recently as New Year’s Day the team was looking at Billy Cundiff, who was cut by the Washington Redskins in early October. After setting an NFL record in 2011 with 44 field goals, Akers had double-hernia surgery last February and led the league with 14 missed attempts in 2012. Most recently, he missed a 38-yarder — indoors — in the NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons.
“Game of inches,” Akers told reporters Tuesday at media day. “Six inches one way, three inches last week, a foot here. It’s been one of those seasons where, if I had an answer for you, I would have changed it and the outcome would have been a lot different by now.
“Has it been frustrating? Sure. Personally, it’s been a roller-coaster year.”
The 49ers chose not to go with Cundiff, but in the regular-season finale against Arizona they twice opted to go for it on fourth down rather than take a chance on Akers’s toe.
“He’s continued to work,” 49ers long snapper Brian Jennings said. “He’s continued to kick the ball through the uprights during practice and pregames and unfortunately he’s kicked a few in games that didn’t go through the uprights. He’s just grinding. It’s a brutal, brutal business being a placekicker.”
Lost in the futility is all the success Akers had with the Eagles. He led them in scoring in 11 out of 12 seasons before signing with the Niners in 2011, and is second in the NFL to Adam Vinatieri with 164 postseason points.
“This is what I do,” he said. “I enjoy it, I have a lot of pride, I want to have success. I’ve been doing it for quite a while. But it’s not exactly who I am, either. I look at my family, the health we have, the people I have in my life, and we love each other. I look at that and think that my job is great, it’s a wonderful experience, but it doesn’t necessarily define you as a person.”
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