The San Francisco 49ers may have been extremely successful this season by reaching the NFC Championship game for a second consecutive season and ultimately advancing to Super Bowl XLVII after taking down the Atlanta Falcons a few weeks ago.
Although the 49ers are favored to get the best of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, the team wasn’t able to reach the biggest sporting event of the year for the sixth time in franchise history without a fair share of controversy and struggle.
The quarterback controversy between up-and-comer Colin Kaepernick and veteran Alex Smith dominated the headlines in San Francisco during the second-half of the season, but it was kicker David Akers’ struggling that really worried the team’s coaching staff heading into the NFL playoffs.
Apparently, Akers hasn’t been too happy with all the redundant questions being asked regarding his struggles this season heading towards the Super Bowl via Dan Hanzus of NFL.com:
“Oh, the same thing over and over and over again?” Akers replied in a half-joking, half-serious tone. “Where’s the horse? Because we’ve been beating it a lot.”
Akers may have been one of the best kickers in the NFL during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, but it has been a rough ride with the 49ers this season with the veteran missing 14 field-goal attempts.
The team was so concerned about Akers falling apart in the postseason with a serious lack of confidence that San Francisco brought in fellow veteran Billy Cundiff to motivate Akers to save his job moving forward. The tactic appeared to work until Akers missed a field goal against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game and the questions arose about the veteran’s future with the team.
Obviously, the 49ers are no longer confident in Akers’ ability to hit crucial field goals down the stretch and that may prove costly in a possible defensive battle with the Ravens in the Super Bowl. These two teams may resort to exchanging field goals throughout the game and will lean on their kickers as a result.