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Niners facing tough call on Akers

By Matthew Barrows, The Sacramento Bee Published: January 1, 2013

The two options illustrate the 49ers' dilemma: Cundiff has experience but is best known for a playoff miss. Medlock, 29, has potential but little experience.

“We want to make the right decision,” Harbaugh said. “David's certainly in it. He's done a lot of great things for us. He's made a lot of great kicks, a lot of big kicks. And he knows it, we know it, those kicks in the games — you've got to make those kicks. There will always be a level of competition around at any position to find who gives you the best chance to win the next game. Knowing the competitor that Dave is, I don't think he'll have a problem with that.”

A year ago, Akers made an NFL-record 44 field goals and was a major component of the 49ers' winning formula. Earlier this year, he landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame after making a 63-yard attempt just before the half in Green Bay.

But he's had far fewer attempts from close range this year compared to last. And he's been terrible — 9 for 19 — from 40 yards and beyond.

Akers finished the season with a 69 percent accuracy rate, the worst of his career and the 30th best of any full-time kicker this season.

“Kickers go through, at times, slumps,” Harbaugh said. “They'll go through it and maybe come out of it quickly. Sometimes it lingers a little bit. But have I been surprised that (Akers) hasn't made those kicks? Yeah, we understand that's the job of the kicker — put it through the uprights.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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