November was a good month for David Akers, and December has started well.
The Eagles will need him to continue his strong run as the team heads into four crucial season-closing games, starting Sunday in Dallas.
Three of the four will be in the Northeast, where cold and wind can make kicking more tricky.
Over the last month, Akers' foot has been important and reliable. He hit four field goals in a two-point win over the Colts and kicked another four in a 10-point victory against the Giants, helping him earn NFC special-teams player-of-the-month honors.
Along the way, he tied the record for most games played as an Eagle and then, on the second day of December, set a new mark. He played his 184th game in green as the Eagles beat the Texans.
How much longer can he go on? Akers doesn't put a number on it but said he does not intend to let up.
"I want them to kick me out, and I'll go kicking and screaming," Akers said shortly before tying the team record for games played.
To that end, the kicker said he modified his workout routine about 31/2 years ago.
"When I first started I didn't think I really was a fat guy, but apparently looks can be deceiving," said Akers, now in his 12th year in Philadelphia.
He has used yoga, Pilates, explosive plyometric exercises, and the P90X workout routine.
"I'm lifting more weight now upper-body wise than I did when I was in college," Akers said. He credited the team's new strength and conditioning coach, Barry Rubin, with adding new wrinkles.
"I try to do everything for me to be explosive, keep my body and weight in check," Akers said. "I don't want to ever lose my job because somebody said you're just being lazy, taking it all for granted, because that's how I was able to get into the NFL. I don't want to lose it because of that."
While he mixes up his training regimen, Akers said he does not modify his kicking routine, even after a career-worst day Week 6, when he missed three field goals in a win over the Falcons. It was the first time he had ever missed three field goals in a game.
"For me, it's Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I do the same thing," he said. "Sunday, I've had the same routine for 12 years, so hopefully it all shakes out and it looks like a pretty good year, hopefully."
The Eagles still won by 14 against the Falcons, so the missed kicks ultimately meant little. Since that awful showing, Akers has made 19 of 20 field-goal attempts, his only failure coming when the Giants rushed in on him to block an attempt.
Overall, Akers has hit on 26 of 31 field goals or 83.9 percent. So far, it's his second-best showing since 2004, topped only by his 86.5 percent accuracy last year. Akers' only misses, outside of the Falcons game, are a 53-yard attempt against the 49ers and the block by the Giants.
Akers' 26 field goals rank second in the NFL. That's in part due to the offense's off-and-on performance in the red zone. But his sure foot at least assures the team that when the offense stalls, they can come away with three points.
"He's been doing it a long time. Probably a little bit like a golfer, you get a little out of whack, you kind of study yourself. You listen to the coaching points," said head coach Andy Reid. "He just trusted it and went back and started stroking it like he always does."
Akers, with 185 games of NFL experience (including one with the Redskins), made his job sound simple: "Hopefully it will continue to go between the yellow posts instead of outside," he said.