The Eagles lost to the Packers by five points on Sunday. Eagles Pro Bowl kicker David Akers missed two field goals, which will cause some of the Philly faithful to claim that, if Akers had made those kicks, the home team would have won. (It’s never quite that simple when a missed kick comes at any point other than the very end of a game.)
After the loss, Eagles safety Quintin Mikell suggested that Akers’ struggled may be related to something other than a sudden disappearance of his skills.
“I don’t want to put him out there, but he’s been going through a lot this week,” Mikell said, per Tim McManus of PhillySportsDaily.com. “He has some stuff going on. And for him to even be out here was big. He fought through a lot today and this week.”
Neither Mikell nor Akers’ agent would share details regarding the “stuff” to which Mikell was referring.
“He was dealing with a lot of stuff this week, and he came out, he fought and he did as well as he could,” Mikell said. “I’ll let everybody else talk about it, but he was going through a lot this week.”
Regardless of the details, the question becomes whether the Eagles should have considered signing another kicker and deactivating Akers for the week. More specifically, the question becomes whether coach Andy Reid should have opted against kicking a field goal when down by 11 points early in the fourth quarter and facing fourth and one from the Green Bay 16.
“You kick it and it’s an eight-point game,” Reid said following the elimination of the EAgles. “The right thing to do is kick it. The guy is a Pro Bowl kicker, so I’m thinking he’s going to make it.”
It’s likely that, in time, the details regarding Akers’ distractions will emerge. And if the “stuff” to which Mikell alluded was significant, look for critics to point a finger at Reid, both for opting to kick the second field goal Akers missed and for using him at all in the game.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio has more details. “It’s nothing major,” agent Jerrold Colton told Paolantio. “David is not using anything going on in his life as an excuse for those two misses. It’s a private family health concern and we hope nothing major.”