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Remember this San Diego?
Oh, how the pressure gets to Nate Kaeding. A decorated kicker coming out of the University of Iowa, Kaeding was taken in the third round of the 2004 draft and has managed to take fans on an emotional roller coaster in his unpredictable career.
In his rookie season, Kaeding converted 80 percent of his field goal attempts in the regular season but when the pressure was on in the playoffs he flopped miserably. Kaeding missed a potential game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter of a wild card playoff game against the New York Jets. Fans were devastated, but you have to remember that type of situation would phase any kicker, and Kaeding was just a rookie then.
In 2006, Kaeding's postseason nightmare continued when he missed a potential game-tying field goal in the 2006 playoffs against the New England Patriots that would have sent San Diego to the AFC championship game. Kaeding's reputation in San Diego wasn't getting any better and he realized that.
Two more missed field goals in the 2007 playoffs despite wins really got fans fed up with Kaeding's lack of control in the postseason, but the damage wasn't done yet. Kaeding missed all three of his attempted field goals in a playoff game against the New York Jets once again forcing the Chargers to make an early exit from the postseason, yet again.
See how there's a trend going on here? Kaeding has always been a dead-eye kicker during the regular season but when the game is on the line it's like the ball wants no business being anywhere near the uprights. To top it all off, Kaeding missed the entire 2011 season due to an ACL tear which he suffered covering a kick on the opening play of the season.
I like Kaeding and the fact that he's developing into of the league's most accurate kickers, but that means nothing if you can't make the kicks that count. Fans have been hurt too many times and it's time the Chargers made a change.