Philadelphia Eagles News

Somehow, Akers Is Better In Playoffs

MINNEAPOLIS -- Add the Eagles to the list of those who needed assist from a bailout plan.

At least, the Eagles didn't need help from the government. They just had to trot David Akers out onto the field.

Akers nailed a franchise-playoff record 51-yard field goal as part of his perfect 4-for-4 day as the Eagles eliminated the Minnesota Vikings with a 26-14 win Sunday in the wild card round of the NFC playoffs at the Metrodome.

"I would call that a character win," Akers said. "Never giving up, fighting through how their fans were. They were so outstanding."

Akers' 14-point performance was the third-highest in franchise playoff history and it simply continued what is arguably the best season in his storied 10-year career. He finished second in the NFL this year with a franchise-record 144 points including a franchise-record 33 field goals.

"It's a little more different than it is in the regular season because it's so business like," Akers said. "You never know when that last play is going to be so it's a sellout at all times." Photo Gallery : PHI vs. MIN 1-4-09

You're probably tired of reading franchise record and Akers mentioned in the same sentence. But there are very few spots in the Eagles record book under kicker that do not have Akers' name transcribed next to them.

The Eagles jumped on the board first in the opening quarter when Akers nailed a 43-yard field goal to silence the crowd. DeSean Jackson's 62-yard punt return helped put the Eagles in field goal range.

At the end of the first quarter, Akers lined up for the 51-yard attempt. Jon Dorenbos made the snap, Sav Rocca put the ball down and like clockwork the Eagles held a 6-0 lead after the game's first 15 minutes. It was the second straight week Akers made a field goal of at least 50 yards and this 51-yard successful attempt broke the previous playoff record of 48 yards. Of course, the previous record was held by Akers. In fact, Akers hit it the last time the Eagles played in the wild card round back in the 2006 season.

"(The regular season is) kind of that long marathon, now it's a sprint," Akers said. "You have to be on every single play."

Akers completed the first half trifecta with what was a chip shot compared to the other kicks, a 31-yarder to put the Eagles ahead 9-7 with 7:29 left in the first half. The scoring began with Akers and ended with him. His 45-yard field goal with 1:55 remaining in the game after defensive end Juqua Parker recovered a Minnesota fumble made the final score 26-14.

The always-reliable Akers, who has hit 81 percent of his career regular season attempts, is even better in the postseason. After Sunday's 4 for 4 performance, Akers now has his 25-of-29 attempts - an 86.2 success rate.

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