The last thing David Akers wants to do is let down his team. And he's not sure why he even needs to publicly say as much.
Akers has been kicking footballs for a living long enough to know there are some rough stretches - and he is in a bit of one for the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers.
Only a year ago, Akers seemed almost perfect, and he practically was: setting an NFL single-season record with 44 field goals, and missing just eight kicks. This season, he is 15 for 21 - and was wide left on a 41-yard try in overtime of last Sunday's 24-24 tie with the Rams that would have won the game.
No blaming this wayward kick on the Candlestick Park wind or any other elements. He just missed.
''I wish I could use that,'' Akers said this week, regrouping for Monday night's key NFC game against the Chicago Bears. ''It's something I've always been successful at. And when you don't, and you let down your teammates and fans and the organization, absolutely it bothers you. I kicked very wel...