Jim Schwartz still says he believes in David Akers

Reuters

Last year on the 49ers, David Akers ranked 30th in the NFL in field goal accuracy. This year on the Lions, Akers ranks 29th in field goal accuracy. So with back-to-back seasons near the bottom of the league, is it time to accept that the soon-to-be 39-year-old Akers just doesn’t have it anymore?

Not according to Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who continues to back Akers despite a missed 31-yard field goal on Thursday against the Packers. In fact, Schwartz said he approached Akers right after that miss at the end of the second quarter and told him that the team was ready to go to him if it needed a clutch field goal late in the game.

“I told him after halftime that if we need a game-winner, we’re going to put him right back up,” Schwartz said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We’re not going to be going for it on fourth down.”

As it turned out, the Lions didn’t attempt any field goals in the second half, but Schwartz said he was pleased to see Akers make all three extra points.

“You watch his next extra point, he stepped up, he drilled it. He bounced back,” Schwartz said.

That’s great, but NFL kickers are supposed to drill extra points. And they’re supposed to drill 31-yard field goals. If the Lions need a game-winning field goal next month with a playoff berth on the line, it’s hard to believe that Schwartz will be completely confident in Akers.

Akers doesn’t handle kickoffs for the Lions, but that’s also an area of concern in Detroit: Punter Sam Martin booted two kickoffs out of bounds on Thursday. If the Lions could find a kicker who can kick field goals and kickoffs long and straight, that would give their special teams a significant boost as they attempt to win the NFC North. Cutting Kickalicious may have been a mistake.

49 responses to “Jim Schwartz still says he believes in David Akers

  1. Sounds like me last year before I saw him miss a FG attempt against ATL in the NFC championship gm. That almost cost the 9ERS the game. Then witnessed the missed FG in the Super Bowl that was luckily re kicked on a BAL flag.

    Dude should receive the best supporting act in a drama if they handed out such awards in sports.

  2. Lol, “made all 3 extra points.” That is classic. “He drilled it. He bounced back.” Well, I guess we can ascertain that at least he doesn’t play scared either.

  3. I want the Lions to make the playoffs and have a GW field goal on the line and Akers (so we think) come in and nail it from 50 but then the kicker takes off his helmet and its Jason Hanson

  4. What’s the head coach supposed to say?!?! If there was a better option, he’d be replaced. Until then, support him.

  5. Akers hasn’t had it since he cost the Eagles a playoff game to the eventual SB champion Packers in 2011. They let him walk for a reason.

  6. As an eagles fan, it’s sad to see his career on such a decline. It’s really bad when a coach cheers the fact that he made all three extra points. I mean that should be automatic for every kicker or they would have no right being a kicker in the NFL. But he should really retire now. He’s the best eagles kicker in my lifetime, too late to go out on top, but definitely stop the hurt now before it gets any worse!

  7. Remember that this praise is coming from the same guy that a former Lions player said was full of BS.

  8. I live in Michigan. A lot of football watchers here think Schwartz’s, Gunn’s, and Linehan’s sell-by dates have long passed.

    We debate whether it’s better for the Lions to have lots of talent and be mediocre or no talent and be terrible. Those seem to be our choices.

  9. Come to think of it take Janikowski now keep in mind he never makes a pressure kick its always everybody else’s fault and he has to make a ridiculous amount of money but he looks awesome in warm ups just ask Phil Simms he only said it 30 times yesterday

  10. The rest of the NFC north is thrilled to have Schwartz coaching in this division. They celebrate a regular season win like it was the Super Bowl, and their coach celebrates an extra point like it was the longest kick in NFL history.

  11. He was so bad last year his statistics have actually improved.

    Signed to be the reliable veteran, he kicks like a rookie that wouldn’t last long in the league.

    I would have a lot more trust in Rugland, was really hoping they’d roll the dice. If there’s something the Lions have done roght over the last 25 years its kick, and Akers is crapping all over that.

  12. How spoiled have we been as far as kickers go for the Lions? Murray then Hanson for as long as I can remember. Both were money. But on teams with so much losing.
    I will happily trade winning for a FEW missed field goals along the way. But man, something inside of me is screaming that we may hear
    “Akrers kick to win the NFC Championship. It’s up……. Has the distance ….. Wide right. Oh my. Lions that close to the Super Bowl”
    Lord baby Jesus please let it only be my paranoia!!
    Go Lions!! Beat Philly!!!

  13. As an Eagles fan it’s disappointing to see Akers fading away like this. I’ve met him many, many times and I know how much he loves the game but it’s clearly time to let the game go.

  14. Of course he does. Akers was the guy that delivered the Schwartz children. All by himself, holding them carefully in his long curved beak, when he flew in from wherever the babies are kept.

  15. I don’t know stats for kickers and never needed to. We had Hanson and all was good. Now with Akers its just cross your fingers and close your eyes. I hope he can step up as we make this push but I do wonder if Hanson is starting some stretching. If we got past the first round of the playoffs I wouldn’t be surprised if Hanson wouldnt want to claim a little of that for his own efforts over the years with little return. “I really wonder if he’s in shape?”

  16. I was an All Greater Houston 3rd team kicker in High School back in 98-99. I could probably still hit from 35 yards and kick a ball off a tee straight – if they’re okay with the ball going to the 5 yard line…err, probably not. Good luck with Akers.

  17. My guess is that Akers is pretty close to hanging ’em up anyway. I know you can play kicker for a good long time, but Dependable Dave is closing in on the big 4-0, and the Lions should look to the future in the draft.

  18. I can see the Lions with a different journeyman kicker next year, and Kickalicious knocking through the winning 50yrd FG for the opposition to knock us out of the playoff race

  19. Akers is missing more and more. Age catching up but I don’t care he was and still is the man. The man has had a long career and was always dependable on the Eagles. Though the fans showed their loyalty after two key misses when two seasons before that he was what kept the Eagles in it, were terrible for more than half a season at the redzone.

  20. I had misgivings about him since he was signed. Wasn’t he cut for missing FG’s? There wasn’t anyone else they could have signed? The Lions are getting ready to play with the big boys in the playoffs. If they could put together games with no mistakes on either side of the ball….they could beat anyone. I’m sorry to say I get nervous every time he attempts a FG…..and I’m more surprised when Pettigrew catches a ball than when he doesn’t.

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