December 22, 2014

Highlighted Year: David Akers, 2001

Placekicker, Philadelphia Eagles

Age:  27 (Dec. 9)
4th season in pro football, 3rd with Eagles
College: Louisville
Height: 5’10” Weight: 200

Akers signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 1997 but was cut in the preseason. He also failed in a preseason trial with Atlanta in ’98, but was added to Washington’s practice squad and activated for one game in which he kicked his first two NFL extra points but missed both of his field goal attempts and was released. Signed by the Eagles after the season, Akers played for the Berlin Thunder of NFL Europe in the Spring of 1999 and for Philadelphia in the Fall, used for kickoffs and long-distance field goals while Norm Johnson handled the regular placekicking duties. He connected on three of six field goal tries, with a long of 53 yards at Miami. Akers took over as full-time placekicker in 2000 and was successful on 29 of 33 field goal attempts and set a team record with 121 points.

2001 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 26 [8, tied with Paul Edinger & Brett Conway]
Most field goals, game – 5 at Dallas 11/18
Field goal attempts – 31 [10, tied with four others]
Most field goal attempts, game – 5 at Dallas 11/18
Field goal percentage – 83.9 [6, tied with Paul Edinger]
PATs – 37 [8]
PAT attempts – 38 [8]
Longest field goal – 50 yards vs. St. Louis 9/9, at Washington 12/16

Field Goals – 26
PATs – 37
Points – 115 [6, tied with Jay Feely & Matt Stover]

Postseason: 3 G
Field goals – 6
Most field goals, game – 4 at Chicago, NFC Divisional playoff
Field goal attempts – 6
Most field goal attempts, game – 4 at Chicago, NFC Divisional playoff
PATs – 10
Most PATs, game – 4 vs. Tampa Bay, NFC Wild Card playoff
PAT attempts – 10
Longest field goal – 46 yards at Chicago, NFC Divisional playoff; at St. Louis, NFC Championship

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Eagles went 11-5 to finish first in NFC East. Won NFC Wild Card playoff over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31-9) and NFC Divisional playoff over Chicago Bears (33-19). Lost NFC Championship to St. Louis Rams (29-24).  

Akers remained with the Eagles for another nine years. During that stretch, he led the NFC in scoring four times and the entire NFL once, topped the NFC in field goals twice, and was named to the Pro Bowl five times. With a strong left leg, he was known for his long kickoffs as well as field goal kicking. He missed four games with a severe hamstring injury in 2005 and his field goal accuracy dipped under 80 percent for the first of three straight years. However, Akers bounced back to kick a club-record 33 field goals in 2008 and was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his last two years in Philadelphia. By the end of the 2010 season, his last with the Eagles, he owned most of the major franchise career placekicking records, including field goals (294) and scoring (1323 points). He signed with the 49ers in 2011 and set NFL records with 44 field goals in 52 attempts and a total of 166 points, the most in league history with no touchdowns included. However, Akers connected on only 69 percent of his field goal attempts in 2012, although one of them tied the then-league record of 63 yards. Released by the 49ers, he last kicked for Detroit in 2013. Overall, Akers was successful on 386 field goals in 477 attempts (80.9 %) and added 563 extra points for a total of 1721 points. In the postseason, he added another 39 field goals in 47 tries (83 %) and twice appeared in the Super Bowl.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970