SANTA CLARA -- Even after six Pro Bowl appearances and a handful of NFL records, David Akers has a hard time getting past Candlestick Park security. Guards take one look at the wiry 5-foot-10 dude dressed like a coffeehouse hipster and demand to see credentials.

Fans might be gearing up to ask for some I.D., too. Is that really David Akers? The guy in the No. 2 jersey this season looks suspiciously like an impostor.

Akers has missed five of his past 13 field-goal attempts heading into Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, where points will be at a premium in a matchup between the NFL's top two defenses in terms of points allowed per game.

Akers' most recent miss was a 41-yarder in overtime that could have rescued the 49ers from an embarrassing tie to the St. Louis Rams last Sunday. A year ago, such a kick would have been money in the bank. This year, it was an IOU.

"I feel horrible for doing that," Akers said. "When you don't come through, you let down your teammates and fans and the organization. Absolutely it bothers you."

Overall this season, Akers has made 71.4 percent of his kicks, which ranks 32nd among 34 NFL qualifiers.

The 49ers need him to snap back into form in time for Monday's showdown between a pair of teams that specialize in protecting the end zone. San Francisco is allowing 14.1 points per game while the Bears are second at 14.8.

What's wrong with Akers? It's different for every kick, he said. At times this season, he has misjudged the wind (three of his misses have been at Candlestick Park). At other times, he has overcorrected from a previous miss.

During an extended session with reporters at his locker last week, Akers calmly delved into what he deemed his "roller coaster" season. And when he was done, Akers pointed out that not one of the scribes had posed a question to him since his NFL-record tying 63-yard boot against the Green Bay Packers in September.

"You're either the hero or the goat," Akers said. "And that's kind of the business we're in."

Everything between those highs and the lows is supposed to be automatic, which is how Akers made it look during his wondrous 2011. He set the NFL single-season record for field goals made (44) and demolished Jerry Rice's franchise mark for most points in a season (Akers had 166 points to Rice's 138 in 1987).

This season, he looks mortal, having made just 15 of 21 field-goal attempts. Akers has missed from 40, 41, 43, 52 and 55 yards; a 43-yarder was blocked.

Still, he retains the faith of the locker room.

"David is one of the best kickers to ever play this game, so I don't think there's one guy in here who batted an eyelash," receiver/returner Kyle Williams said.

A kicker's role is pivotal during a season in which 21.9 percent of games have seen the winning points scored in the final two minutes or overtime. That's the highest percentage at this point in a season since 2003.

The 49ers had a chance to add to such drama in OT against the Rams, but Akers' kick sailed wide left.

"I just wanted to (be) smooth and came off the ball a little bit," he explained. "You can second-guess yourself all the time. You try to take the situation and make the best decision for that time about how to approach the ball."

A career that includes three trips to the waiver has taught Akers to stay even-keeled. The only thing that upped Akers' blood pressure this week was the published suggestion that he blew off reporters after his miss against St. Louis.

"Now all of a sudden I'm 'dodging the media' and all that stuff," said Akers, who turns 38 on Dec. 9. "I don't know who wrote that, but that's completely false. I'm here. I'll stand up and talk.

"I'm just saying, look: I'll stand up in good times and bad. I'm going to give it everything I have. If my season and my career were to end today, I'd feel like I've given it my all.

"I hope it doesn't. I hope to get back on the horse."