We break down the news that the San Francisco 49ers are trying out kickers.
This is day old news at this point, but yesterday got so busy that I never had time to get it posted. According to Aaron Wilson, the 49ers worked out kickers Billy Cundiff and Nate Kaeding. The 49ers kicking game has been up and down at times this year, and David Akers struggled Sunday against the Saints. After connecting on a 27-yard field goal, Akers missed a 50-yard attempt and had a 33-yard field goal blocked.
As we previously discussed, much of Akers statistical decline has come because the 49ers offense has improved drastically in the red zone. He is 19 of 27, and the only statistical decline is a poorer percentage and fewer attempts of 50+.
While the numbers really aren't quite as different from last year as they might otherwise seem, the timing of his attempts is likely why it has become harder to have faith in Akers in 2012. He missed a potential game-winner against the Rams in overtime, and he had a miss and a block in the fourth quarter against the Saints. The 49ers secured the win against the Saints, but it would have been nice to ice it a little sooner.
Eric Branch put together a solid look at Kaeding and Cundiff. Kaeding suffered a groin injury in Week 3 and was released October 30. He is the most accurate kicker in NFL with a career field goal percentage of 86.9%. As Branch pointed out, he is 8-of-15 in his postseason career.
Cundiff was 7-of-12 this season with the Redskins before being released. His current claim to fame is missing a 32-yard attempt against the Patriots that would have tied last year's AFC Championship Game. Instead, it was the first of two heart-breaking Harbaugh defeats on the day. GOOD TIMES!
The 49ers did have Giorgio Tavecchio in training camp and the preseason as well. If the 49ers did decide they want a new kicker and Cundiff or Kaeding didn't fit the bill, Tavecchio would likely be on the short list. Brad Seely had a chance to work with him throughout the summer, so a tryout would appear to not be necessary at this point.
For now though, we wait.