Kevin C. Cox
After David Akers struggled late in the season, the 49ers signed Billy Cundiff. However, they decided to stick with Akers. Now that every kick could mean winning or losing a Lombardi Trophy, Akers is thinking positively.
49ers kicker David Akers is taking a positive attitude into the upcoming Super Bowl. Though he didn't have his best season, he knows that winning his first Super Bowl ring would erase any ill feelings about his struggles in 2012.
He told the Mercury News:
"I haven't had personal success this year ... but if we end up winning this, it'll be one of the coolest team seasons I've been a part of," Akers said Friday at his locker.
Statistically, the 2012 season was one of Akers' worst. He was one of the better kickers in the league while playing with the Eagles from 1999 to 2010, and he had another good season in 2011 with the Niners. However, 2012 was a different story. After four straight seasons with a field goal average over 80 percent, Akers slipped down to 69 percent in 2012.
This spurred the 49ers to sign former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff as an insurance policy heading into the playoffs. They decided to stick with Akers, though, and so far it hasn't come back to hurt them. Head coach Jim Harbaugh believes that Akers' slump is over and he feels confident that if the game was to come down to a field goal, his kicker will get the job done.
"We all have great faith in David. He's done a lot for our team," Jim Harbaugh said. "I believe he's really hitting the ball well, consistently now for weeks. I can't agree that he is in a slump."
Akers has made one of two field goal attempts in the post season. He was successful in his only attempt in the 49ers' win over the Packers and he missed a 38-yard attempt against the Falcons as the ball struck the left upright. He hasn't needed to be perfect so far this postseason, though, as the 49ers have scored 10 touchdowns and they have the top-ranked offense in the league throughout the playoffs, averaging 476 yards per game.
The Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m.on Feb. 3 at the Super Dome in New Orleans. The game will be broadcast on CBS.