Stats & Info: Sebastian Janikowski

Ben Margot/AP Photo
David Akers has made his first season with the 49ers the most memorable one of his career.
In a season that has been statistically dominated by quarterbacks, San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers has shone a spotlight on those who play his position.

Akers set the NFL’s single-season record for field goals made, with the four he hit on Sunday giving him 42, breaking the mark of 40, set by Neil Rackers in 2005.

Akers has made 85 percent of his 49 tries this season, a percentage a shade above the league average of 83 percent entering Sunday. He’s 7-for-9 from 50 yards or longer, after making only six field goals of 50 yards or longer in the previous six seasons combined.

Those seven makes are tied for the most field goals from those distances this season with Cleveland Browns kicker Phil Dawson.

Akers set the record on a day in which his teammates’ quest for an individual share of a record concluded.

The 49ers had their streak of consecutive games without allowing a rushing touchdown snapped at 15. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that matches the mark for the longest streak in the Super Bowl Era (since 1966), set by the Chicago Bears from 1986 to 1987.

The record was the latest in a series of notable accomplishments by kickers this season. Here’s a list of notable kicking accomplishments from 2011.

Week 1 (Sept. 12) – Sebastian Janikowski’s record-tying field goal
Janikowski tied the NFL record for longest field goal with a 63-yard blast in a 23-20 win for the Oakland Raiders over the Denver Broncos.

Janikowski has had a heck of a season when it comes to distance kicking. In Week 5 against the Houston Texans, he made field goals of 50, 54, and 55 yards, tying the NFL single-game record with three field goals of 50 yards or more.

Week 3 (September 26) Dan Bailey’s 6-for-6
Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey beat the Washington Redskins by himself, going 6-for-6 in an 18-16 win. The game-winner was a 40-yarder with 1:47 left. Bailey’s six field goals ties the NFL rookie record. The only other two rookies to do it are Garo Yepremian in 1966 and Jeff Reed in 2002.

Week 7 (October 24) Josh Scobee’s 4-for-4 on Monday Night Football
The Jacksonville Jaguars edged the Baltimore Ravens, 12-7, with all 12 points coming from Josh Scobee, who joins Janikowski by kicking three field goals of 50 yards or more in a game, tying an NFL record.

Week 14 (Dec. 11)- Matt Prater makes field goals of 59 and 51 yards to beat the Bears
Matt Prater hit a 59-yard field goal to tie in the final seconds of regulation, then hit a 51-yarder in overtime to give the Denver Broncos a dramatic 13-10 win over the Bears. The Broncos rallied from a late 10-0 deficit to win.

Week 16 (December 24) David Akers breaks the NFL record for field goals in a season
With his third field goal in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, Akers broke Neil Rackers’ NFL record for field goals in a season, with that kick giving him 41. He’d hit the game-winning field goal later in the game.

Akers’ other notable accomplishment this season was breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season 49ers record for points scored.

Kickers dialing long distance this year

October, 27, 2011

US Presswire
Sebastian Janikowski tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal against the Broncos in Week 1.

One of the potentially unrecognized, but quite significant, stories of the 2011 NFL season is the success of field goal kickers on long-distance kicks.

Through seven weeks, NFL kickers have made nearly 87 percent of their field goal tries, a rate that if managed through the duration of the season, would be the best in NFL history.

The reason that the success rate is so high is not due to the performance of kickers on shorter kicks. It’s due to their performance on longer ones.

The NFL success rate on field goal attempts of 40-to-49 yards this season is 80.8 percent. If that rate can be maintained, it would be far better than the current NFL record of 74.5 percent set in 2008.

But the story actually grows in significance as we move the distances back.

NFL kickers are 41-for-58 on field goal attempts of at least 50 yards this season. That’s a success rate of 71 percent, which is extraordinary based on historical data. The NFL record, 63.8 percent was set in 2008.

If kickers can keep at their current success rate and pace (41 field goals of 50-plus yards in 103 games), it’s possible that there could be 100 made field goals from at least 50 yards this season. That would shatter the current record of 66, also set in 2008.

Here’s a look at several notable kicks of at least 50 yards this season:

Nick Folk, New York Jets
In the Jets' win over the Cowboys in Week 1, Folk hit the winning field goal, a 50-yarder with 27 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
Janikowski tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal to end the first half in a 23-20 Week 1 win over the Broncos. Then in Week 5, Janikowski tied another NFL record with three field goals of at least 50 yards in a 25-20 win over the Texans.

Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
In the Broncos comeback win over the Dolphins in Week 7, Prater kicked the winning field goal, a 52-yarder midway through overtime.

Josh Scobee, Jacksonville Jaguars
Scobee matched Janikowski by making three field goals of 50 or more yards in a Monday Night Football win over the Ravens in Week 7. He made a 51-yard kick late in the fourth quarter to help clinch the win.