Is David Akers Really That Bad? 16

2:29 PM 27 Aug 2013

Reading all the negative fan reactions to the Lions release of Norwegian born UDFA kicker Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland got me scratching my head and wondering if I am crazy for not believing kicker David Akers is as bad as many fans say he is.

Kickalicious was released and that will not change. Kickalicious could very well become the most talented kicker the NFL has ever seen, but the facts are that he is raw and unproven and nothing comes easy in the NFL. He will get another opportunity. It could be a big blunder on the Lions management part, but that is not what we are researching here today. Today we are looking into the claims that Akers, a.k.a. Shankers is basically a waste of a roster spot.

81.0% on field goal attempts over 16 seasons

81.0% on field goal attempts over 16 seasons

The biggest claim contributing to my befuddlement was that Akers has had “an Absolute Failure of a Career”. Really? An Absolute Failure of a Career? I am a diehard Detroit Lions fan and I didn’t keep up with Akers as closely as I did long time Lions kicker Jason Hanson (Retired), so I needed to look into the statistical side of this statement a little closer, comparing David Akers’ career to that of Jason Hanson’s career.

There are tables below with both of their career honors and stats. To summarize, though, Jason Hanson made 82.4% of his field goals over his 21 year career, but at 16 years (where Akers is currently at) Hanson’s percentage drops to 81.5%. David Akers for his career (16 years) has made 81.0% of his field goals attempts. Pretty close statistically speaking and not bad or a failure of a career by any means.

Jason Hanson

David Akers

  • PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year (1992)
  • 2× Pro Bowl (1997, 1999)
  • 3× All-Pro (1993, 1997, 1999)
  • PFWA’s Golden Toe Award (2008)
  • Ed Block Courage Award (2010)
  • Multiple NFL records
  • Consensus All-American (1989)
  • Most field goals of 40 or more yards – 189
  • Most consecutive field goals of 40 or more yards (total) – 24 (2007-2009)
  • Most field goals of 50 or more yards (total) – 51
  • Became the second player in league history (after Jason Elam) to score 200+ points against 3 different teams
  • Most career games with one NFL team (327)
  • Most career seasons with one NFL team (21)
  • On December 18, 2011, became the first player in NFL history to score 2,000 points with one franchise
  • Most career game winning field goals in overtime – 9
  • 6× Pro Bowl (2001, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • 6× All Pro (2001, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011)
  • 2× NFC champion (2004, 2012)
  • PFWA Golden Toe Award (2011)
  • 4× NFC Special Teams Player of the Month
  • Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • NFL record longest field goal (63 yards)
  • NFL season record for points scored by a kicker (166)
  • NFL season record for field goals (44)

 

Jason Hanson David Akers
Career NFL statistics
Field goals made 495 (#3 lifetime)
Field goals attempted 601
Field goal % 82.4
Long field goal 56
Points scored 2,150 (#3 lifetime)
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

 

Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Field goals 367 (#11 lifetime)
Field goal attempts 453
Field goal % 81.0
Long field goal 63
Points scored 1,622 (#14 lifetime)
Passing 2/2, 25 yards, 1 TD
Stats at NFL.com

 

Even though David Akers’ career is reaching its twilight he has had a very productive career overall. He WILL miss a good 4 or 5 field goals throughout this season, but he is definitely not as bad as many fans want to believe. Now that the kicking decision has been made it is time to move forward down the field and gain, A Lion Victory! Go Lions!

16 thoughts on “Is David Akers Really That Bad?

  1. Reply ATLJeff Aug 27, 2013 2:53 PM

    Not to knock Hanson, but he played many games in a dome (all home games and probably 1/4 of away games). Akers kicked outside in Philly and San Fran, 2 less than ideal atmospheres. I would think that would take at least 5% accuracy off of anyone’s kicks. So, if that is true, he’s actually been a better kicker than Hanson.

  2. Derek Mack Reply dmac93065 Aug 27, 2013 3:15 PM

    Thank you for this superb statistical comparison. I was most impressed by your use of a statistical ‘scrub,’ comparing years 16 of both players. Your research indicates there is a the half a percentage point in Hanson’s favor for made field goals. A half percentage!!! With Akers still able to boom 60 yarders, it suggests he’s recovered fully from his injuries and that there’s life in that ‘golden toe.’ The Lions replaced Hanson with a suitable replacement and gave Rugland a chance to latch on with another to continue his dream of becoming a starting NFL kicker. It’s a win for both parties imho.

    • Jeffrey A. Moore, TSB Lead Writer Reply Jeffrey A. Moore, TSB Lead Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:23 PM

      I still expect Akers to miss a couple of field goals because he has never been perfect on a season. I am just hopeful they don’t come at crucial times and cost us games. I will NEVER hear the end of that from fans! lol I wish Rugland all the best. He will be successful.

  3. Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Reply Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:20 PM

    The things I’m concerned about with Akers, his 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2012 seasons. Is he back? He hit less than 70% of his attempts last season.

    Secondly, even if he is back, how much farther will he go? Is he a long term replacement, or just a short term band-aid?

    That’s the thing with Rugland, he had the potential to be long term, Akers doesn’t have that same potential. The Lions will be looking at this position again soon…

    • Jeffrey A. Moore, TSB Lead Writer Reply Jeffrey A. Moore, TSB Lead Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:29 PM

      I agree with you that Akers is not the long term solution. That is not the same debate for this post, though. I am merely pointing out that David Akers has not had a horrible career like many fans are saying. He is kicking indoors and healthy and that should make a huge difference in his accuracy. All kickers miss now and again.

      We as Lions fans have been spoiled by having such long runs with kickers. Schwartz and company want to get through this season and don’t care so much about the organization beyond that at this point. My opinion there, but I stand by it.

  4. Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Reply Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:24 PM

    By the way, that left column should be much longer, didn’t list his records but listed Akers records…

  5. Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Reply Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:35 PM

    Most field goals of 40 or more yards (total) – 189

    Most consecutive field goals of 40 or more yards (total) – 24 (2007-2009)

    Most field goals of 50 or more yards (total) – 51.

    Became the second player in league history (after Jason Elam) to score 200+ points against 3 different teams (division rivals Packers, Bears, and Vikings).

    Most career games with one NFL team (327 as of December 31, 2012).

    Most career seasons with one NFL team (21).

    On December 18, 2011, became the first player in NFL history to score 2,000 points with one franchise.

    Most career game winning field goals in overtime – 9 – tied with Jason Elam, Jim Breech, and Steve Christie

  6. Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Reply Dave Brown, TSB Senior Writer Aug 27, 2013 3:37 PM

    Gotta say it, I’m not liking the consistency issues. Solid career, no doubt.

    I DO love the fact that you wrote this article, Jeffery, it’s a hot topic. Excellent work, whether I agree with it or not. It’s done well, I was not aware that Akers was that high career wise with his percentage.

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