Despite misses, Lions remain confident in David Akers

Reuters

Lions kicker David Akers has had a rough first season in Detroit, but coach Jim Schwartz says he’s still confident that Akers is the right man for the job.

Akers has gone 12-for-16 on field goals this season, a 75 percent accuracy rate that ranks him 27th in the league. Akers has shown some leg strength, with a 53-yard field goal and a 51-yard field goal, but he’s been particularly shaky in the 40-49-yard range, making just three of six attempts at that distance, which ties him for 30th in the league. Schwartz said, however, that there’s no question that Akers is the guy the Lions want kicking for him.

“We have a lot of confidence in David,” Schwartz said. “David’s good for our football team.”

Akers missed the only field goal he tried on Sunday in Chicago, a 45-yard attempt that sailed wide right, but Schwartz blamed the wind, not Akers.

“He hit the ball good,” Schwartz said. “If you look at it, it starts right off in the middle and then the wind took it. That was a hard wind to judge. If you’re on the 50-yard line you might not think the wind is blowing much, then you get down to the end zone and it’s blowing significantly more. That’s just the way Soldier Field is.

Akers was once among the NFL’s best kickers, but he also had a rough season last year in San Francisco. At age 38, Akers may simply not be the kicker he once was.

Schwartz may still be confident in Akers, but Lions fans can be forgiven if they think it’s time to call Kickalicious.