For NFL kickers, there's no margin for error. Perhaps no one knows that better than David Akers.
Prior to Sunday's game, the only blemish on kicker David Akers' 2009 resume was a blocked attempt from 52 yards. Then, on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum, he missed wide left on a 43-yarder and wide right on a 47-yarder.
"I've got to make those kicks," Akers said via telephone Monday night on the weekly Coach's Show (heard on 610-WIP). "When it comes down to six points that you leave on the field and you lose by four, those kicks really come back to haunt you. There's really nothing else to it. I let my teammates down, the fans and the organization."
On the show, head coach Andy Reid said both of Akers' misses were makeable kicks and with the wind. Reid said he thought his placekicker pushed the first one a little bit to the left and came back and overcompensated for it and pushed the other to the right.
The 43-yard attempt came after the offense failed to capitalize on an Asante Samuel interception at Oakland's 29-yard line in the first quarter. Akers did come back and drill kicks from 45 and 43 yards before halftime to draw his team to within 10-6 at halftime. The offense opened the second half with an impressive drive, but that stalled at Oakland's 29 and resulted in no points as Akers missed his second kick of the day.
"You have to learn to make the kick and go on and make the next kick. Or, if you miss a kick, you have to go on and make your next one," Akers said. "That's kind of the way the game went for me."
No kicker in the league ever gets too comfortable. And that is especially true for the 11-year veteran who believes he's kicking to keep his job each and every week.
"I want to make all the kicks," Akers said. "When you go out you have to make them all. If you miss a couple, it's going to really be looked at under a microscope. I look at it as a total disappointment for me. I didn't play to the best of my ability."
Akers is now 9 for 12 on field goal attempts this season. Most importantly, he still has the confidence of his head coach.
"Nobody beats himself up more than what David does. He understands the importance of making those," Reid said. "It's probably no different than a golfer. Consistency is a big thing in this league. You have to work through it.
"David's a good kicker and he's got a strong enough leg. He just has to keep cranking."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 12:35 p.m., October 20