SAN DIEGO — Chargers wide receiver Nate Lewis had been kidded all season about not taking a kickoff return the distance.
With 7:08 remaining in the second quarter Sunday, the kidding suddenly stopped. Lewis ran 95 yards down the right sideline and gave the Chargers their first touchdown on a kickoff return since Anthony Miller took one back 91 yards against the Raiders in 1989.
"Everybody has been asking me to go pick up their Federal Express mail," Lewis said. "So I finally picked it up and the guys up front did a heck of a job."
Two guys up front, Marion Butts and Darren Carrington, created the hole for Lewis.
"I could have paralleled my Cherokee in that big old hole," Lewis said.
From there, it was just Lewis and Saints kicker Morten Anderson. Lewis encountered Anderson at midfield, but it was a brief meeting. Anderson never came close to touching Lewis, who barely missed a beat.
"The only person I had to beat was the kicker," Lewis said. "You can't let the kicker tackle you.
"I put a little move on him because he had a pretty good angle on me. I had to give him a little something. I stomped my feet a little bit and he fell for it. I just kept on running."
A Saints touchdown off a blocked punt preceded Lewis' return, but Lewis said that didn't affect his thinking.
"I think touchdown all the time," he said. "You always want one every game."
Recently Lewis simply has been hoping for the ball to come his way.
"They've been kicking away from me in the past few weeks," he said. "I was just happy to be able to return some kicks finally."
He was averaging 22.3 yards on 16 returns this season with a long of 56 against the Raiders.
The touchdown was Lewis' second on special teams in two seasons with the Chargers. He returned a punt 63 yards against Seattle last season.
The touchdown on a kickoff was his first since high school.
"I ran back a 95-yarder in high school," he said. "But that was in high school. I didn't get paid for that."