Niners kicker David Akers has had an up and down season. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
David Akers compares life in general to a roller coaster, but this season the one he’s been riding has had some larger-than-normal ups and downs.
The 49ers kicker started this season by making his first six field-goal tries, including a 63-yarder that tied the NFL record, but then has had some key misses, including a missed 41-yard field goal in overtime Sunday of a 24-24 tie with the St. Louis Rams.
Since that miss, some have wondered what’s wrong with Akers, who set an NFL record with 44 field goals last season.
This year, Akers has missed six of his 21 field goal attempts, a 71.4 success rate, far less than his career rate of 81.7 and his 84.6 average last season when he went to the Pro Bowl.
On Wednesday, the 49ers kicker said there’s nothing physically wrong with him, and he expects to make adjustments and continue to be successful.
“I just wanted to smooth it and came off the ball a little bit,” he told reporters Wednesday, of his overtime miss against the Rams. “You can second guess yourself all the time. You try to take the situation and make the best decision for that time about how to approach the ball. Obviously, I didn’t get a chance to re-kick that.”
He said that as a kicker, is career is a series of highs and lows. Every time he goes out for a kick, it’s do or die. Last season, he was Mr. Automatic. This season, he’s been more erratic.
“You go from one high to a low and that’s not what you want to do,” he said. “It’s not what you want to do as a professional. It’s not what you want to do as a competitor. I want to win and be able to feel good that I’m part of the team, you know?
“I feel horrible for doing that. But it wasn’t out of spite or anything like that. I’m trying my best. And I can’t really hang my head because of that. I try hard. I work hard. I put a lot of time and effort into this craft and it’s been a little different than I’m used to.”
Akers, who’s looking forward to getting more opportunities this Monday night for the 6-2-1 49ers vs. the Bears, says nothing has changed, even though he’s missed a few more kicks this season than 49ers fans came to expect last season.
“If my season and my career were to end today, I’d feel like I’ve given it my all,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t. I hope to get back on the horse and do a great job for the 49ers and the fans and the team this year.”