Nate Kaeding’s return to pro football Monday marked a true reversal of emotions for the 30-year-old San Diego Chargers kicker.
Kaeding, a Coralville native and former Iowa All-American, connected on all five field-goal attempts (19, 23, 28, 41 and 45) and an extra point to pace the Chargers past the Oakland Raiders 22-14. It was quite the change from 2011 when Kaeding tore his ACL while trying to make a tackle on the inaugural kickoff and spent the season on injured reserve.
“It was obviously good to get out there,” Kaeding said afterward. “A few more butterflies going to the stadium in Oakland (Monday) than typical for me but that’s going to be expected after sitting out all year.”
Kaeding also parked six of his seven kickoffs for touchbacks. Kaeding is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, connecting on 86.8 percent of his attempts.
“I continue to say he’s the best field-goal kicker I’ve ever been around, and the reason I believe that is the way he kicked the football (Monday),” Chargers Coach Norv Turner told reporters.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Detroit at San Francisco, 7:20 p.m. (NBC). The teams were NFC playoff teams a year ago and their only meeting — a 25-19 49ers win on Oct. 16 — was more memorable for the vitriolic postgame handshake between Lions Coach Jim Schwartz and 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh than for the game itself.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Saints QB Drew Brees has thrown for at least 300 yards in eight consecutive games, the longest streak in NFL history. Brees, a former Purdue star, has completed a TD pass in 44 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in NFL history. Colts Hall of Fame QB Johnny Unitas holds the record with a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Buffalo Bills tight end tied a career high with two touchdown catches a year ago at Kansas City.
Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers registered career highs in catches (five) and receiving yards (65) in the Raiders’ season-opening loss to San Diego.
St. Louis Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher had three tackles last week while starting against Detroit. Fletcher, who’s listed as a backup right corner, played in only four games last year after tearing his ACL.
ON THE AIR SUNDAY
Vikings at Colts, KFXA, noon
Chiefs at Bills, KGAN, noon
Jets at Steelers, KGAN, 3:25 p.m.
Lions at 49ers, KWWL, 7:20 p.m.
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