(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Nate Kaeding wasn’t rusty. After the San Diego Chargers kicker tore multiple knee ligaments during the opening kickoff last season, forcing him to miss the rest of the season, he returned Monday night to kick five field goals, and help lead the Chargers (1-0) to season opening 22-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders (0-1).
“He was stronger. He kicked off. …he was amazing kicking off…he kicked the ball into the back of the end zone,” Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. “Obviously he was outstanding as a field goal kicker. I continue to say he’s the best kicker I’ve ever been around.”
As well as the Chargers’ special teams performed, the Raiders were equally as bad. Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo was injured in the second quarter and had to leave the game. Travis Goethel took his place and the Raiders proceeded to botch three punts.
“He’s worked on snapping the ball,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Goethel. “Actually, he’s done a nice job in practice. But it’s obviously a lot different in a game like situation.”
Raiders running back Darren McFadden had 13 catches for 86 yards in the loss.
Copyright 2012 ABC Sports Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News