In the moments after he booted a record-tying 63-yard field goal on Sunday, 49ers kicker David Akers wore a look of shock on his face. That’s because Akers thought he missed.
Akers says that while he knew he’d have to kick the ball with a lot of power to make a 63-yard field goal, he was also making a conscious effort to kick it straight as well. When the ball left his foot, he thought he had put too much emphasis on kicking it straight and that he hadn’t kicked with enough power, and he was surprised when the ball hit the crossbar and bounced over.
“You have to do two things on every kick: You have to get it long enough and you’ve got to get it between the sticks,” Akers said. “The one thing I didn’t want to do is overkick it. I almost didn’t hit it, I thought, well enough. That’s where a lot of the shock came from. To me I just think it’s a blessing and a miracle, honestly, for my own little personal deal. That’s the way I saw it. I was like, ‘There’s no way I hit it good enough.'”
Akers, whose previous career long was 57 yards, is still surprised he made it.
“I thought it was amazing. Again, you hit it and you don’t think you hit it well enough, then it hits the crossbar. I’m like, ‘All right, that’s going to be great, you have 63 and you came up an inch short,’ and then it was the opposite and it went in,” Akers said.
Akers’ kick on Sunday came on the last play of the first half, so the 49ers didn’t have to worry about giving the Packers good field position if Akers had missed. But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has said he’d consider sending Akers out to kick from as long as 60 yards, even if it weren’t just before halftime or the end of a game. Harbaugh may be more confident in Akers’ leg than Akers.