Billy Cundiff's Impact on the NFC Championship Game

David Welker

Billy Cundiff has an important role to play on Sunday. Sort of. Maybe not. But I examine his impact on Sunday anyway.

OH AND HE HAS ONE! Lol, not really. Except, now that Billy Cundiff has been waived, I think the point of the whole "bring in another kicker" thing is readily transparent: Billy Cundiff was always about David Akers. Well, duh, but not in the obvious back-up to Akers way. I think Cundiff's role on the team was a gigantic ploy on the part of Jim Harbaugh.

It's really easy to think of Harbaugh as an evil mastermind. So easy. After the Packers game, I remember him telling the team that they would talk later because there were cameras in the room. I mean, that makes so much sense, it's silly. Of course he would wait. But, normally, the team / coaching staff is so ready to just ignore the media's presence. Actually acknowledging them felt, well, evil mastermind-ish to me.

And hence Billy Cundiff. I don't think he was ever supposed to get playing time. I mean, maybe if he started kicking field goals from 80 yards away with his feet tied behind his back, then maybe. Just maybe. But, barring some superhuman performance, I think Harbaugh realized that the injury may have been playing games with Akers' head. I don't like to speculate on a player's mindset, because I'm just too far away from the situation as a fan. But, Harbaugh... He would know. I think it would be obvious to most everybody on the team, that is, if they know the guy.

So, when Harbaugh brings in a new guy like Cundiff, says that there is a favorite of the two, starts Akers, and doesn't even activate Cundiff, I think Harbaugh is giving Akers the Alex Smith treatment. I mean, not the new Alex Smith treatment. The old Alex Smith treatment. The one where he says "you're the guy" so much that people wonder what it would take to tear the two apart (answer: concussion). This potentially gave Akers a chance to get settled and do his job. Here's hoping that he can have a great NFC Championship game.

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