On Wednesday morning, the NFL annouced that David Akers had won the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for the second consecutive week. On Thursday, he was also named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month.
- Akers led the NFL with 58 points and 16 field goals during the month as the 49ers went 4-1 and won the NFC West. He also threw his first career touchdown pass (14 yards) in San Francisco’s Week 17 win.
- He had an NFL-record 44 field goals and finished the season with 166 kicking points, passing GARY ANDERSON (164 in 1998) for the most in a single season in NFL history. Only two other players have held that mark over the past 40 years – JIM TURNER (1968-82) and MARK MOSELEY (1983-97).
- His 166 points are the most in a single season in franchise history, surpassing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver JERRY RICE (138 in 1987).
- Akers, who was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl, was named the NFC Special Teams Player of Weeks 16 and 17.
- In his 13th season from Louisville, this is Akers’ fifth career Player of the Month Award. He was honored four times as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 2000, Oct. 2007, Nov. 2009, Nov. 2010).
- Akers is the first player in franchise history to be named Special Teams Player of the Month.
Rookie linebacker Aldon Smith was also named the NFC Rookie of the Month for his performance in December and January.
In only four games in December, Smith collected 6.5 sacks. He finished the season with 14 total sacks, finishing only a half sack short of tying Jevon Kearse’s single season rookie sack record set in 1999. Smith also won the award in October.
Smith broke the team’s rookie sack record of 12 in the month of December also.
What makes Smith’s performance so incredible is that he isn’t an every down linebacker. He mainly comes in on passing downs but has excelled in his craft, finishing with the top sack total among rookies. He played in about half of team’s defensive snaps this season.
The only other rookie that could end winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award is Von Miller. Miller has 11.5 sacks as an every day linebacker. Voters will have a tough choice in determining who is worthy of the award.
Players aren’t the only ones winning awards. Veteran college scout Reggie Cobb has been named NFC Scout of the Year by the Fritz Pollard Alliance. Cobb will be honored, along with other award winners, at the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s Ninth Annual Awards Reception on February 24, 2012, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“I have had the great privilege of working with Reggie while with the 49ers and the Redskins,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, “Reggie’s hard work, loyalty and professionalism are qualities I have always appreciated. It is very fitting for him to be recognized in this fashion.”
Cobb has been with the team since 2009 and after the season the 49ers just accomplished, he is very deserving of this award.
People want to see the 49ers
The NFL has also released a TV ratings report and in 2011. Out of all the shows programmed, the 49ers-Giants game on November 13, 2011 ranked as the 12th watched program in America (25.9 million viewers).
In fact, out of the Top 25 list, 23 of the programs were NFL games.
In terms of basic cable, the NFL released a Top 15 list and both nationally televised 49ers games made the list.
The December 19 Monday Night matchup against the Steelers brought in 16.7 million viewers and was ranked third. The Thanksgiving showdown against the Ravens was ranked 15th, bringing in 10.7 million viewers.
According to a source, the team tried out tight end Cody Slate. The one-year player last spent time with Kansas City.