Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions kicker David Akers (2) kicks a field goal in the first quarter of a preseason game against the New York Jets at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Detroit Lions’ Kicker ‘Battle’ Over?


For the first time in over two decades, the Detroit Lions can’t write Jason Hanson‘s name in big Sharpie marker in the lineup. There have been other kickers in Lions camp before but there was never a true competition for the job.

That changed this year with Hanson’s retirement. In came veteran David Akers and youtube star turned NFL kicker Håvard Rugland. Both players have been solid in practice and in the two preseason games to date. While their performances might suggest they are on even standing, it is likely the organization has different feelings. Tim Twentyman is the reporter closer to the team than anyone else writing for the team’s official site. His view of the kicker “battle” is plain as day in a tweet today:

It echoes my feelings on the matter as well. Rugland is a great story and perhaps he gets the chance to be a team’s regular kicker one day. He has done well considering he came to rookie minicamp without knowing how to put on his pads. However, it just isn’t realistic to expect him to make up the ground needed to beat out a veteran like Akers.

I can understand why some fans would be nervous with Akers considering he is coming off the worst season of his career. However, prior to last year Akers had exceeded his career field goal percentage for four straight years. Unless you believe his down year in 2012 was because he simply lost it and is too old to return to form, Akers’ reputation for consistency still holds.

The surface reason for Akers’ poor season a year ago was a sports hernia and complications following surgery. That looks to be the extent of the issues considering what Akers has shown in camp. That being the case, there probably wasn’t anything Rugland could have done to win the job.

Tags: David Akers Detroit Lions Featured Håvard Rugland Popular

  • Kris Wheeler

    Boooo! He is still 38 years old, and nearly done. We need a long-term solution, and a 28-year old who has had exactly zero errors in any test given to him is a better solution.

    Plus, Rugland can actually put butts in the seats that otherwise wouldn’t care to watch. Who is going to tune in/show up to watch Akers?

    • http://sidelionreport.com/ Zac Snyder

      I just don’t understand the notion that the Lions need a long-term solution at kicker. Why? Jason Hanson wasn’t a long-term solution late in his career, should the Lions have dumped him a couple years ago?

      And sorry, I’m not buying that Rugland will put butts in the seats. Even if true that really doesn’t need to be a consideration when half the home game sold out on the first day tickets were available.

    • James O’Bannon

      Totally agrees

    • Terry Welsh

      I would like to see the kid get the job too.

  • Terry Welsh

    Give him a job at Fords for a few years and let him work on his game, and then he can take over for a to old to play anymore Akers.