After setting a NFL record with 44 field goals last year, San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers has struggled converting field goals this year.
Akers went two-for-three on field goal attempts in a 41-31 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. He is only 25-for-35 on the season, good for just 71 percent. He has missed five of his last 16 attempts.
Harbaugh knows that Akers can be more consistent than he has been this season. After coming to the 49ers in 2011 after 12 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Akers kicked an NFL-record 44 field goals in 2011. He finished 2011 with a 84.6 field goal percentage, his fourth-straight season at 80 percent or higher.
"The specialists, sometimes they only get four or five opportunities a game. You've got to make the play," Harbaugh said. "We've got to see him do it. We've got to see him make those plays."
Akers has made a field goal in every game, but he has also missed a field goal in seven games, including missing two field goals in a game twice this season. Eight of Akers missed field goals have come from a 40-yard distance or greater.