Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
At age 38, San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers is having the worst season of his life.He has the third-worst field goal percentage among kickers with at least 10 attempts. He has only made 9 of his 19 kicks beyond 40 yards. He has missed at least one kick in seven of his last 10 games.
He has been shaky in all the ways you don’t want your kicker to be shaky.
Last week against Atlanta, he missed a 38-yard chip shot that would have made things much more comfortable for San Francisco down the stretch.
The miss came after a Falcons player whispered something in his ear as Akers was warming up:
He seemed at a loss at what’s going on when he talked to the LA Times yesterday 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.”
The 49ers have the advantage on offence and defence, but special teams is the one area where Baltimore is clearly better.
The Ravens have the #1 ranked special teams in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders’ advanced stats. They have a solid kicker in Justin Tucker, and a Pro Bowl returner in Jacoby Jones.
San Francisco, on the other hand, ranks 20th out of 32 teams.
If the game is close (as it’s expected to be), this hidden special teams disparity could come into play in a huge way. And Akers will be at the centre of it.
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