49ers K David Akers looks to return to top form

Associated Press Modified: November 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: November 17, 2012

Just more than two months ago, in San Francisco's season-opening win at Green Bay, Akers booted a 63-yard field goal that bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights.

In the moment, Akers' mouth fell open and his eyes popped as he threw his arms into the air in both celebration and disbelief. His teammates proceeded to mob him after the record-tying kick.

Akers called it "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." He is showing now that he is human, too.

"You go through it. You're either the hero or the goat," Akers said. "And that's kind of the business we're in. You just have to kind of take that in stride and try to gnaw on it if you don't do well. And if you do well, you understand that it was one kick, and you don't get too high about it."

Akers acknowledges he has misjudged kicks a couple of times this season based on the wind, then tried to overadjust at other times and come up short. Against the Rams, it was none of that.

"This one over the weekend, I just wanted to smooth it and came off the ball a little bit," he said. "You can second guess yourself all the time. You try to take the situation and make the best decision for that time about how to approach the ball. Obviously, I didn't get a chance to re-kick that. ... You know, you try to set it up for each kick and do the best you can and, obviously, I didn't do what I needed to do at that time."

Harbaugh doesn't seem concerned that Akers is experiencing any confidence issues.

"No, not that I'm aware of," the coach said. "I'm not pinpointing any reason why. I have no indication that he's not confident, either."

Akers' calm demeanor has served him well over the years, and he hasn't changed much during his career when it comes to technique or approach.

The 49ers are counting on Akers getting back in his usual groove down the stretch as they look to defend their division crown and chase a first-round playoff bye. And Monday night's matchup with the Bears very well could be decided with his leg.

"Akers is going to be a big part of that game if we're past the 50 making those field goals," cornerback Carlos Rogers said.

Akers sure plans to deliver the next chance he gets.

"The No. 1 thing is, whether you drive a kick or miss a kick, I know it affects the outcome of the game for the organization and my teammates," he said. "You go from one high to a low and that's not what you want to do. It's not what you want to do as a professional. It's not what you want to do as a competitor. I want to win and be able to feel good that I'm part of the team, you know?"


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL