"75 for 75" is an article series from the 49ers Museum highlighting legendary moments in 49ers history as part of the team's 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2021.
September 9, 2012
Many observers questioned 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to send David Akers onto Lambeau Field to attempt a 63-yard field goal before halftime against the Green Bay Packers.
"I made 61 (yard field goal) in pregame and felt pretty good that I could get it there if I just struck it right," Akers said. "But when I hit it, I felt like I missed it."
Akers' line-drive kick had just enough distance. It hit the crossbar, then bounced up and over for three points as the first half expired, providing the 49ers with a 16-7 halftime advantage.
"As a kicker, when you hit the goal posts at any part, it usually makes that horrific noise and bounces back," Akers said. "This time it got the sweet bounce. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime type of deal."
Akers boot tied an NFL record, since broken by Matt Prater's 64-yard field goal in the thin air at Denver. "It was kind of one of those miracles," Akers said. "I didn't think I hit it good enough." It was Akers' third field goal of the half and the second in 55 seconds. The 49ers stout defense set it up.
Akers' 43-yard boot with just under a minute left until halftime gave the 49ers a 13-7 lead. Then, after the ensuing kickoff, the 49ers stopped Green Bay on three plays that burned just 20 seconds off the clock. San Francisco's wide receiver Kyle Williams returned the Packers punt 20 yards to the 49ers 38 yard line. With 18 seconds left, Harbaugh sent reserve quarterback Colin Kaepernick onto the field for a single play, a 17-yard sprint to the Packers 45-yard line, setting the stage for Akers.
After the win, Harbaugh was asked about Akers' usual field goal range. "Well, it was 63 yards today," he quipped while relishing the first victory of the 49ers 2012 NFC Championship season.