Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/21/13
Though the former All-Pro has been stuck in a continuous downward spiral all season, David Akers still has the confidence of his coach. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will not bench the struggling place kicker when San Francisco takes on the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, Comcast SportsNet’s Matt Maiocco tweeted Monday. Akers is a veteran of six Pro Bowls with the Niners and Eagles but saw his stats take a sharp downturn in 2012. His 69 percent field-goal percentage in the regular season was his lowest since 1999 — when he attempted just six field goals — and ranked 30th among NFL kickers. Ironically, Akers kicked this season’s longest field goal — a 63-yarder on Sept. 9 that tied an NFL record — but his inconsistency down the stretch forced San Francisco to bring in free agent Billy Cundiff as an insurance policy. Another big miss in Sunday’s NFC Championship win over Atlanta led some to speculate whether Harbaugh would turn the kicking duties over to Cundiff, who was chased out of Baltimore after missing a potential game-tying try against the Patriots in last year’s AFC title game. But it appears that the Niners are sticking with their starter, hoping that Akers still has some of his old magic left.
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