David Akers was as shocked as everyone else yesterday when a kick he sent down the field flew 63 yards and through the uprights, tying an NFL record.
The kick came at the end of the first half of the 49ers game against Green Bay and helped San Francisco secure a lead to win the match 30-22. But at first it seemed as though the ball was going to do what it so often does on a long kick; hit the crossbars and bounce off. Instead, it pegged the bars and kept right on going, earning Akers a place in NFL history as the tie to a record set by Tom Dempsey, who played for the Saints in 1970 and won a game against the Detroit Lions with two seconds to spare with his field goal.
Akers celebrated with his teammates directly after the kick, throwing up his arms to indicate a good goal, and later expressed his surprise and happiness that he'd been able to make it happen for his team.
"When you hit the goal post at any part it usually makes that horrific noise and then it usually bounces back," Akers said. "This time it got there. It was a sweet bounce. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime type of a deal."
Indeed; in the entire history of the NFL, there have only been nine field goals of 60 yards or more.