Chargers.com released a bit of mild news after the signing of kicker Nick Novak. The contract was just for a year and would not be very noteworthy to me if Nate Kaeding hadn’t missed three field goals during last seasons playoff game against the Jets. Yes, I am still pretty mad about that.
I’m not saying he is being brought in to replace or threaten Kaeding, though sometimes I wish he was. Nate needs a bit of a fire under his ass in my opinion. He was practically flawless all season, missing three total through the year, and just folds under playoff pressure. This is an all too familiar story to a lot of you and I wish that the history was different.
Kaeding had a shot to take us to the AFC championship game and choked again. Maybe he just can’t handle that big game kind of pressure, but I’m getting sick of coming that close to a championship and watching it slip away in beautiful high definition on my 72-inch television. I was hearing Kaeding jokes all over the place after that game. I couldn’t get away from them no matter how hard I tried. Even my rhythm guitarist in my band wouldn’t leave it alone.
The team assures the world that the addition is just for depth after Nasty Nate went down with a groin injury right before the Pro Bowl. However, if the new kid develops some chops then I wouldn’t be opposed to some open competition. Still, he may not. Novak completed six of ten field goals with the Chiefs in 2008. But I can still dream, can’t I? If Nate Kaeding had made just one of those three missed field goals then we would have taken the game into overtime. Making two of them would have meant a 20-17 victory instead of the depressing “17-14″ sticker that quarterback Philip Rivers has on his truck to remind him of the 11-game winning streak wave that finally broke, and rolled back.