We are out of the second-guessing of Jim Harbaugh business. If he believes David Akers is the answer at place kicker for the San Francisco 49ers, we're inclined to believe it.
That said, there's no hiding from how shaky Akers has been this season. He's missed a league-high 14 field-goal attempts, including a 38-yarder in the NFC Championship Game.
Such is the life of a kicker. Last season, Akers was an unparalleled point-scoring machine. Now, he's viewed as San Francisco's biggest liability.
"I felt good all year," Akers said Friday, via Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. "Just doing the same thing in practice we've done all year. And wish those points would've counted in games. I had a great practice season, and training camp and pre-games. So it's one of those things.
"It's been a head-scratcher. But I'm still going to be positive about going into this game, 60 minutes away from possibility of being a world champion."
Akers maintains he's not nearly as bad as his numbers suggest this season. His one attempt Sunday banked high off the left upright before falling to the end zone turf at the Georgia Dome.
"You look at the kicks, it's so minute on how far they're off," Akers said. "We're talking inches on a lot of kicks. That's a frustrating thing because an inch is a mile in our game, from 63 hitting the pole and going over to hitting the top of the eyelet last week. One's in and one's out. One's a record breaker and one doesn't tie the game."
(Akers is referring to his record-tying 63-yard make in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers.)
Akers has been in the NFL 14 seasons, and he doesn't -- at the surface, at least -- sound like a man struggling with confidence. But it remains to be seen what kind of faith Harbaugh has in him next Sunday. If the Niners play to avoid Akers, you'll have to wonder why he was kept around in the first place.
But again, there will be no second-guessing here.