When this season’s awards are eventually given out, Aaron Rodgers is going to be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. There will be compelling cases for his QB peers Tom Brady and Drew Brees, who will probably break Dan Marino’s passing record tonight. And many sports writers will cry foul that Ray Rice, who has been virtually silent about his contract situation with the Baltimore Ravens in the classiest way possible, deserves it for carrying the Baltimore Ravens to the playoffs. But having had more sleep in the past few days than I get in most months, my brain is firing off insane ideas today, including the argument that San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers deserves to be NFL MVP. You read that right.
Trust me, I know how absurd this is and I deserve everyone calling me insane and throwing lit cigarettes at me, because in no universe should a kicker mean more to his team than a QB, RB or All-Pro linebacker. But the 49ers have had such an incredible season, seeing as most morons – *points to self* – figured this would be a cake walk year in the NFC West for the St. Louis Rams, who ended up being a bigger disappointment than Sucker Punch. Before you start lining up to give me atomic wedgies, though, let’s at least look at the numbers.
For starters, Akers not only broke Jerry Rice’s team season scoring record of 138 points this year with 155 points and counting, but he did it by also breaking the NFL’s single season record for field goals on Saturday, when he kicked 4 to total 42 through 15 games this year. Akers scored 12 of the 49ers’ 19 points against the Seattle Seahawks, which added an exclamation point to a common theme:
9/11 – 49ers defeat Seahawks 33-17. Akers kicks 4 FGs, including 3 in the 2nd quarter.
9/18 – Cowboys defeat 49ers 27-24 in OT. Akers kicks 1 FG, a 55-yarder with 11-minutes remaining in the 4th to give SF a 10-point lead.
9/25 – 49ers defeat Bengals 13-8. Akers kicks 2 FG for the difference.
10/2 – 49ers defeat Eagles 24-23. Akers kicks 1 FG.
10/9 – 49ers defeat Bucs 48-3. Akers kicks 2 FG, which are good enough to win the game.
10/16 – 49ers defeat Lions 25-19. Akers kicks 3 FG, including a 55-yarder to give SF the lead at the half.
10/30 – 49ers defeat Browns 20-10. Akers kicks 2 FG.
11/6 – 49ers defeat Redskins 19-11. Akers kicks 4 FG.
11/13 – 49ers defeat Giants 27-20. Akers kicks 4 FG.
11/20 – 49ers defeat Cardinals 23-7. Akers kicks 3 FG, provides the entire game’s scoring in the first half.
11/24 – Ravens defeat 49ers 16-6. Akers kicks 2 FG, provides 49ers’ only points with 45-yarder and 52-yarder.
12/4 – 49ers defeat Rams 26-0. Akers kicks 4 FG. 49ers needed only 1.
12/11 – Cardinals defeat 49ers 21-19. Akers kicks 4 FG but missed a very costly kick.
12/20 – 49ers defeat Steelers 20-3. Akers kicks 2 FG, provides game’s only scoring in the first half.
12/24 – 49ers defeat Seahawks 19-17. Again, Akers kicks 4 FG.
There you have it, my argument for a kicker to win the NFL’s highest individual season award, and I don’t even smoke pot. I made sure to point out that Akers’ missed field goal might have cost the team the game against the Cardinals in Week 14, but if we’re going to blame the guy for that one loss – and not the celebrated defense or resurgent Alex Smith for their shortcomings – it’s only fair that we also give him credit for the 6 or 7 games that he won. But this is probably why I don’t have a vote. Well, this and the fact that I would vote for Melissa Kellerman for everything.