Fooch's Update: Matt Barrows just tweeted this:
Am told Special Teams/Ass't Head Coach Brad Seely is conducting #49ers' kicker search. Available kicking legs: Billy Cundiff, Neil Rackers..— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) December 31, 2012
The San Francisco 49ers head into their bye week looking to get healthy and prepared for their Divisional Round matchup in the 2013 NFL playoffs. While getting healthy and prepared are important, one of the more interesting storylines to track over the next few days will be the kicker position.
49ers kicker David Akers had a nightmare first half, and a second half that was moderately better, but even still a problem. In the first half, Akers missed attempts from 40 and 44. In the second half, he connected from 43, but then may have injured his ankle on a point after try. The 49ers went for it on fourth down twice after that, but did give him a chance at a 26-yard field goal, so it is possible the team was just stashing him away for longer distances.
While he did hit the field goals in the second half, he is still struggling mightily. While the 49ers might be able to leave points on the field against a team like the Cardinals, that will not fly against the Packers, Falcons or anybody else in the playoffs. Jim Harbaugh was asked about the position, and he said the team would evaluate it. Harbaugh told the media that it was Akers job to make field goals and Akers' performance has not been to his standard.
So what to do? The folks at Rotoworld posted this list of the top ten kickers available in free agency:
1. Ryan Longwell
2. John Kasay
3. Billy Cundiff
4. Neil Rackers
5. Justin Medlock
6. Dave Rayner
7. David Buehler
8. John Potter
9. Garrett Lindholm
10. Rhys Lloyd
I get why the 49ers might be concerned about the options on the market, but at this point, are they really any worse? If they miss kicks, not much changes, but there is always the upside of some made kicks. This is really a tough situation for the 49ers.