Chargers blocked from a win

The last time the Chargers had a field goal blocked was Nov. 30, 2003 when John Browning of Kansas City broke up an attempt for three. That is - until Sunday.

The kick that wasn't. Nate Kaeding entered the game with a perfect kicking record for the year. After some exhibition errors, he was locked in during the year. But Sunday he missed – and it had nothing to do with the second year kicker.

"What are the odds? Special teams came up with a big play to win the game for us and that was the play of the day right there," linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said.

It was the protection that faltered Sunday afternoon and ultimately cost the Chargers a win.

The right side of the line, much like the offensive line and their scattered problems throughout the game, was overmatched when Quintin Mikell sneaked through an opening on the inside.

Cornerback Rod Hood came in off the edge and pulled the protection out wide, leaving a crease on the inside for Mikell to cruise through.

The first rule of picking up the blitz is containment on the inside. Take away the shortest path. That did not happen on Sunday and Mikell got his palm on the ball before Matt Ware took it for seven.

The goal leading up to the field goal attempt was increasing their lead to seven points.

"I have every confidence in that group when we go out there that they're going to make it," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I have a lot of confidence in Nate and I felt it was important to get to the seven-point differential."

But he also thought about the possibility that things might not work out as planned. The farther out the kick, the more real the possibility of it being blocked because of the low trajectory.

This attempt was from 40 yards out.

"I considered the possibility that it might be blocked," Schottenheimer admitted.

The Bolts had no answer for what happened. They reserved judgment until the tape could be looked at.

"The biggest thing was what (Quintin Mikell) "Q" saw in the game," Eagles special teams coach John Harbaugh said. "We were really heavy rushing inside and "Q" felt their TE was getting harder and harder down the side. He said that he could get it. So, we called his rush and he got it."

What made Schottenheimer irate was not getting the kick off to at least see if it would go through the uprights. And if Nate Kaeding missed, the Eagles would still have had to drive 70 yards for a touchdown.

"At the end of the day, you have to be able to at least get the kick off, whether you make it or you don't," said the coach.


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