New Lions kicker David Akers has an impressive résumé. He has been very accurate historically, he tied an NFL record last season with his 63-yard field goal, and he's a six-time Pro Bowler. But it's very likely Akers is not as good a field-goal kicker than Jason Hanson. Because Akers, 38, and Hanson, 42, have played for so long, it's best to ignore what they did in the early parts of their careers in the 1990s and instead look at their recent performance history. In their past four full seasons -- eliminating Hanson's half-season of 2010 and Akers' injury-hampered 2012 -- the numbers aren't even close. In 2008, '09, '11 and '12, Hanson converted 85.2% of his field-goal attempts and was 73.1% from 50 yards or more. In 2008-11, Akers converted 80.3% of his field-goal attempts and was 55% from 50 yards or more. The one thing Akers definitely has shown is that he still has a booming leg. Over the same period, Akers outperformed Hanson in kickoffs, with a 65.5-yard average and 98 touchbacks. Hanson averaged 64.4 yards and had 86 touchbacks. Even last season, when he was coming off hernia surgery, Akers had a great kickoff year and averaged 66 yards and had 40 touchbacks. In the past two seasons, Akers has had his best back-to-back kickoff years, averaging 66.2 yards and totaling 87 touchbacks.
New Lions kicker David Akers better than Jason Hanson on kickoffs but not FGs
Detroit Free Press | Apr 8