GLENDALE, AZ -- David Akers had been as close to automatic as one could ask for in the playoffs.
He had made 18 field goal attempts in a row heading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
After a 3-for-3 performance in the Divisional Playoff win at blustery Giants Stadium, kicking in a dome should have made life that much easier for Akers.
But Akers was not automatic Sunday. He was 2-for-3 from field goal range and missed an extra-point attempt in the Eagles' 32-25 season-ending loss.
"I feel like I let my teammates down," Akers said. "I'm disappointed in missing the extra point. It's not the way I wanted to end it, that's for sure." Photo Gallery : PHI vs. ARZ 1-18-09
Akers started the game off on, for lack of a better term, off the right, er, left foot. His first two kickoffs landed in the end zone, one for a touchback. He drilled his first field goal attempt from 45 yards out to extend his NFL postseason record for consecutive successful field goal attempts to 19.
But early in the second quarter, the streak was snapped when Akers missed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide right. If Akers had made the kick, it would have cut the early Arizona lead to 7-6.
And then late in the third quarter, as the Eagles were rallying from a 24-6 halftime deficit, Brent Celek scored his second touchdown of the game to cut the deficit to five. Akers came out for the point after attempt. The snap was caught by Sav Rocca and the ball was put down. The laces were in instead of out and the ball sailed just wide to the right. But Akers wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"I just should have made it," Akers said.
When asked about the impact the laces had on the kick, Akers replied, "That had nothing to do with anything."
The Eagles did take the lead in the fourth quarter on DeSean Jackson's 62-yard touchdown reception. But the Eagles were unable to make the two-point conversion. The Cardinals scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive and held on to win the game.
Akers is one of the veterans who played in all five NFC Championship Games during Andy Reid's tenure as head coach of the Eagles. And he is quite upset over the fact that the Eagles came up short in four of the five title games.
"When you lose four NFC Championship Games, it sits in your gut pretty hard," Akers said. "You have to look at yourself first and I wasn't happy with my performance today."